Seth Polk, a Waynesburg University biology alumnus and a first-year student at Eastern Virginia Medical School, has been inspired by the health sciences and fields involving laboratory research his entire life. Although he deems it both a blessing and curse, as a child, Seth was constantly plagued with injury (a majority sports-related) that caused him to spend an unimaginable amount of time in hospitals.
“As a result of growing up in hospitals, the hospitals grew on me,” he said.
Polk is pursuing a master’s in biotechnology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and also plans to seek his Ph.D. Upon completion of his education, Polk has an interest in joining the United States Navy, providing service to a country that he says “has given so much to [him].”
Polk comes by his desire to serve his country from the example set by his father, a retired United States Navy Lieutenant Commander who gave 25 years of service to his country. As a result of growing up in a “Navy family,” Polk recognizes the impact of the opportunities that potentially await him.
“The armed forces provide vast and advantageous resources for health care research,” he said.
His desire to research in the field of cell biology in relation to immunological responses can be attributed to his mother’s recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.
“She gives me inspiration,” he said.
Polk undoubtedly hopes that his work will one day “uncover a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.”
Polk credits his Waynesburg University education for his preparation for graduate school and beyond.
“Waynesburg prepared [me for my future] by providing excellent practical laboratory experience while maintaining strong lecture of underlying theory,” he said.
Polk also credits unmatched professors and dedicated mentors for his research skills, his understanding of the scientific process and “the push required to mature in the laboratory sciences.”
As for his Waynesburg University experience as a whole, Polk sums it up with one word — responsibility.
"Responsibility is the word I think of when I see the Seth Polk of today versus the Seth Polk of four years ago, and I have Waynesburg to thank for that characteristic,” he said.