Melissa hallenbeck  --  ALUMNI

Melissa is a senior in the College of Liberal Arts majoring in sociology and French. She works in the University of Minnesota Clinical Virology Laboratory researching vaccines for Epstein-Barr virus, and she volunteers with Care Partners in the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. Melissa is also a Violence Prevention Educator at the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education and is working with a task force to make the Aurora Center more accessible to traditionally underserved populations on campus. Melissa is also a teaching assistant for Sociology of American Drug Culture - where she’s particularly interested in the intersection between medicine and social factors - and she is the Scholarship Dinner Chair for the Chi Omega Fraternity.

In her free time, Melissa loves to cook, read, run, and ski.


Was there ever a time when you questioned your desire to go into medicine, and if so, what have you learned since then?
"I had no idea I wanted to be a physician during high school. I had taken a Gap year and was teaching English in Thailand when one of my students became unresponsive. He was taken to a hospital and returned to school unscathed, but the incident piqued my interest in the human body and medicine. Since then I've really had time to explore, and solidify my interest in medicine though volunteering, research and academics at the U. ”