A Passion to Help
Sidney West, a senior biomedical science major, is starting small with a big objective: she
wants to change the world by helping one person at a time. With plans to
eventually become a doctor, West wants to take a hands-on approach to her goal.
For now, she's helping others in a different way by getting involved in campus
activities and representing her classmates.
"I like being able to know a lot of people.
It has been a lot of fun helping other students get more involved," West
As a freshman, West jumped right into the university
community. She's already been a part of the New Student Organization, chaired
the special events committee, organized the homecoming float, helped with
battle of the bands, and is a part of the True Blue NAU committee, which seeks
to build school spirit. West has also served students as a senator with the
Associated Students of Northern Arizona University (ASNAU), which gives her
peers a voice at the campus, local, state, and national levels. She is thriving
in the university’s supportive community.
To help and heal
"I enjoy helping others," West says. "I
try to stay involved because our world is based on politics. I don't want to
get too into politics as a career, though, because I don't like the anger and
disagreements. I'd rather be a doctor where everyone looks for ways to help
The self-described "bio-nerd" has dreams of
becoming a pediatric oncologist. To prepare, West is lining up opportunities to
become involved with an undergraduate research project with one of her
professors. Additionally, she's volunteering at Flagstaff Medical Center to get
a glimpse of what her future might involve.
"To want to be a doctor, you have to love what you
are going to be doing. I want to make a difference in the world, perhaps just
helping one child. If I could be a primary doctor and save one child's life, to
me that would be enough," says West.
West feels supported in her studies and activities by the
connection between the Flagstaff community and the university.
"I like the size of the campus and how Flagstaff
supports NAU and how NAU supports Flagstaff," she says. "This town is
completely different from Glendale, where I'm from. It is very supportive of
the schools here. At NAU I feel safe. I can walk anywhere I want. I just feel
comfortable all around here."
Academics are another area of success for West. She
earned junior status after just one year at Northern Arizona University, thanks
to transferring college credits she earned while in high school. West says the
learning environment at Northern Arizona University makes it possible for her
to be involved and stay on top of her academics.
"I've been able to have a personal experience with
every professor I've had at NAU. I feel comfortable going to one of my
professors if I don't understand something. I can email them and they always
email back. There's a connection there," says West. "Plus it's a
gorgeous campus. Being able to look up and see the mountains, it is a calm area
in which to learn."