Excel to care: University graduate prepares for a future in medicine

Kevin Bokun

Support and introspection motivated the 2017 Outstanding Honors Senior of the Year Kevin Bokun to excel. 

Bokun, who majored in biological sciences and minored in both chemistry and psychology, will attend the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport this fall. 

“It was very humbling, and I felt appreciated,” said Bokun. “To me, it’s not just an academic thing because I think both of the other finalists had better grades than I did and were involved in more academic activities than I was. It was really great to hear that my instructors got to see me and that I helped to contribute, not just taking tests and learning the material, in some small way and made it enjoyable to them.”

 

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An altruistic desire attracted Bokun to medicine. He channeled that aspiration through other activities including mission trips and a summer children’s camp. 

“I’ve always been involved with people whether it be working at the tutoring center or through my church,” said Bokun. “I’ve been involved in children’s ministry, a little bit of youth ministry working with teenagers and young people. I’ve also had the opportunity to visit people in the hospital with a clergyman at our church. We would go. We would talk and pray with people.”

Bokun decided a medical career better fit his personality. 

“I’ve always wanted to help people and interact in a very personal way, and for a long time, I thought about education,” said Bokun. “There was a time when I was an education major, but I didn’t think being a teacher was exactly what I wanted to do.”

Bokun felt supported by his family, friends, coworkers and religion.  

“I have a strong relationship with Jesus, and I pray,” said Bokun. “I believe, in addition to my family and friends, that when I pray, God will give me strength and wisdom to help me focus and to succeed in my classes.”

Encouragement from faculty pushed Bokun to succeed. Professor of English Dr. Richard Louth had a positive experience with Bokun. 

“Students like Kevin are rare, and when they come along, they change the whole atmosphere of the class and raise the bar without fanfare for everyone,” said Louth. “I expect him to go a long way in his profession and to be a great doctor, one that people can relate to easily and learn excellence, compassion and truth from.” 

Bokun found a positive experience despite stress. 

“Even though I was stressed, I did enjoy learning the material,” said Bokun. “And even though I was nervous through the application process to graduate school, I was excited even to put an application out there because some part of me said I could make it,” .

Self-reflection helped Bokun decide on a career path. He offered this advice to fellow students. 

“You have to feel a sense of reward from your work,” said Bokun. “Otherwise, you’ll be very tired and weary and that’s disheartening and depressing. If you don’t love what you’re doing or you don’t love a large portion of it, you need to find something about it that you love, or you might need to consider trying something else. It has nothing to do with effort, hard work, discipline or intelligence. It’s just, as people, we have to find something that we enjoy.”

 

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