Freshman on the fast track for a successful medical career

Mikayla Shawver | Undergraduate | Biology

Freshman Mikayla Shawver is no stranger to hard work. As a competitive speed skater, she had to balance high school with a six-day-a-week training schedule – the same schedule that helped her claim the national title for novice skaters and come in third overall at the national championships in July.

The East Allen University High School graduate, who earned an associate degree from Vincennes University before graduating high school, now plans to take on a rigorous course load at IUPUI and finish her bachelor's degree in just two years. She is majoring in biology on the pre-med track and plans to continue her studies to become a dermatologist. She said the lessons she's learned from speed skating will help her achieve her academic goals.

"Speed skating has really taught me what it means to be determined," Shawver said. "When it comes to training, I can't just say 'Oh I don't feel like doing it today,' and I think that will translate into my school work."

Outside the classroom, Shawver plans to continue training and hopes to try out next summer for the team that would represent the United States in the speed skating world championships at the Pan American Games. She may even try to start an intramural speed skating club at IUPUI.

Wherever speed skating and her studies at IUPUI take her, Shawver said she's excited to embark on this new chapter of her life.

"Being on a team has helped me be more open with people, and I know that will make it easier to find friends in college," she said. "I'm just really excited to meet new people and get involved."