Courtesy Dorothy Fink  

USA Today named Georgetown student Dorothy Fink (NHS ’03) to its 14th annual First Team All-USA College Academic Team for her superior intellectual achievement and leadership, marking the first time in Georgetown history that a student has been selected for the prestigious award.

Fink was one of 20 students chosen among 500 undergraduates nationwide who were nominated by their universities. Two judging panels considered grades, leadership, activities and, most notably, how students have extended their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

“These scholars have all excelled inside and outside the classroom. In furthering their own educations, they also are working on making the world a better place,” USA Today editor Karen Jurgensen said in a Feb. 13 Georgetown University Medical Center press release.

Fink, who will graduate with dual degrees in health studies and biochemistry, has indeed achieved superior academic and leadership accomplishments during her undergraduate career at Georgetown. Following sophomore year, Fink was accepted into Georgetown Medical School’s early assurance program. Since then, she has actively demonstrated her intellectual abilities and leadership talents through experiences such as a volunteering at the Lombardi Cancer Center, where she initiated a hands-on science program for the pediatric cancer patients.

“While volunteering at the Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center, I met a 16-year-old leukemia patient,” Fink said. “Knowing how much my visits and friendship meant to her enabled me to see `the other side’ of the treatment component of cancer. I have learned that patients need more than prescription drugs to fight their illness; they need support and encouragement, coupled with a positive attitude to survive.”

In tandem with Fink’s active community service has been her commitment to academics and education, to which she has dedicated significant time and effort.

“I chose Georgetown University because of their unique Health Studies program. Through my coursework, I’ve had the opportunity to examine health care from many different perspectives,” she said. “As a result of early acceptance into GU medical school, I have been able to pursue many more science classes and spend extra time researching.”

Fink has studied uric acid crystal growth and is also examining the public policy aspect of health through an internship with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Ten.) and his health legislation team.

Through her studies, Fink has earned great respect from professors and administrators, who have been honored to work with her and appreciate her inspiring influence and examples for fellow health studies students.

“I think we are very fortunate to have Dorothy Fink as a student in our program,” Dr. Allan Angerio, professor of biophysics and physiology, said. “In her work Dorothy wrote two articles with me – `Preventing Restenosis in Cardiac Patients’ and `Preventing Thromboembolic Disease in Cancer Patients.’ Both these articles gave insight into how understanding science may result in positive clinical outcomes.”

Despite Fink’s superior accomplishments and capabilities, she maintains a modesty and kindness.

“Dorothy lives the life envisioned by St. Ignatius of Loyola . Her excellence in the classroom is showcased not only by her remarkable GPA (3.88) but also by the external validation that she is of the highest intellectual capacity,” NHS Executive Director Michael Bergin said. “Her accomplishments testify to her tremendous ability – a 2002 Goldwater Scholarship recipient, admission into the early assurance program at Georgetown University Medical School after her sophomore year at NHS and qualifying as a finalist for both the Marshall and Rhodes scholarships this year to name a few.”

As an elite scholar and dedicated humanitarian, Fink will continue to pursue her academic career next year at GU medical school, where she will continue to serve the community in hopes of ultimately practicing oncology.

“I truly became aware of the importance of both the scientific and human side of medicine when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer during my junior year of college,” Fink said. ” . I really want to make a difference in people’s lives, and the best way I see to accomplish this is to pursue a career that focuses on a comprehensive approach to medicine. My dream is to be a pediatric oncologist.”

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