During high school, Michael Shipp always enjoyed taking math and science courses. He knew he wanted to tap into this curiosity by pursuing something in the sciences once he enrolled in college.
“One of the biggest turning points for me when discerning my interest for medicine and choosing the Science Preprofessional Studies (SCPP) path was my service experience in Ecuador between my sophomore and junior years of high school,” said Shipp.
Several of Shipp’s leadership experiences have come through his participation on the soccer team, where he plays defense. Currently, he is a Student Athlete Advisory Council representative for the team, where he meets with representatives from several teams on campus to discuss service opportunities and other issues affecting ND student athletes. He is also a community service coordinator for the team where he coordinates participation and travel to service events.
During his summers Shipp has traveled abroad to take part in medical service opportunities. In 2014, he spent three weeks in Zimbabwe working with Grasroots Soccer to educate children on HIV/AIDS through the sport. Shipp and his team would travel to local elementary schools and community centers, using games and soccer drills to teach kids about the risk factors associated with HIV/AIDS.
“Seeing the sheer number of kids directly affected by HIV in that country was overwhelming and at times devastating. It exposed me to the realities of the medical situation outside the US, and it gave me clarity on my decision to pursue a career in medicine,” said Shipp.
During the summer of 2015 Shipp traveled to El Salvador on a medical service trip through the Casa de la Solidaridad program through Santa Clara University, which provides students with a unique opportunity to integrate direct immersion with people living in poor communities (praxis sites) and academic study. During his time there, Shipp was exposed to medicine at every level from the large public medical school to small clinics strictly focusing on alternative medicine and herbal remedies.
After graduation, Shipp plans on taking a gap-year before applying to medical school. Because he is eligible to play another year of soccer, he may decide to stay and pursue a master’s degree in global health here at Notre Dame.
“My advice for aspiring science students is to take advantage of all the resources Notre Dame has to offer and find what you’re truly passionate about. Also, don’t be afraid if you don’t have your entire future planned out. Your experiences here will help shape you as a person and guide you in the right direction so come in with an open mind and don’t stress about the uncertainty,” said Shipp.