Student Scholar Madeline Embrey, ’19 at Medical Humanities Conference
Kalamazoo, MI – Student scholar Madeline Embrey, ’19 was all smiles as she returned from Kalamazoo. Madeline was among the student scholars chosen to present at the Western Michigan University Eighth Annual Medical Humanities Conference September 14.
Madeline Embrey, a history major with a minor in psychology, first became aware of the opportunity during studies at Aquinas. “This really all started with my Speech class with Dr. Haynes in Spring 2018. We were assigned to practice writing abstracts and responding to a call for papers for any academic conference we found online,” Madeline said. “I was surprised when I unexpectedly found the WMU conference and saw that it could actually be a possibility for me.”
Hosted by the WMU medical school, the conference focused on the ways the medical field and the humanities intersect. Topics varied widely, from psychology, health policy, history, to the fine arts, and more.
“Scholarship is designed
to serve the community.”
Preparation for the future is key to the Aquinas experience, according to Dr. Katherine Haynes, Associate Professor of English at Aquinas College. “Scholarship is designed to serve the community. All assignments are designed to help students get beyond the classroom, and take what they learned into their evangelizing mission,” Dr. Haynes said.
“None of the assignments are simply theoretical, designed to be dead papers – but designed so they receive the feedback that a professional paper would receive when it seeks peer review, when it seeks the next step to go to conference and develop further research in the subject.”
As Madeline considers next steps, her future is bright. The conference fit well with Madeline’s interest in medical history, which she said, “caught my attention over the last couple years. It’s a really interesting field, and I think medicine and the humanities have started to merge in the academic world.” Madeline presented the paper, “Maladies of the Great War: An Examination of the Intersections of Conflict and Medical Science through the First World War” alongside presentations on applied ethics at the end of life, medical humanities and mental health, and other topics spanning medicine and humanities.
For Madeline, the B.A. in History track has provided ample opportunity to explore her field. Madeline is also a graduate of St. Cecilia Academy on the Dominican Campus. She feels confident that the skills she has gained at Aquinas are preparing her to be successful as a future candidate for grad school. Dr. Vince Ryan, Associate Professor of History at Aquinas College, guided Madeline’s approach to writing a good abstract for the paper she submitted in his class, World Wars, and encouraged her to submit it to the WMU conference even as an undergraduate student.
Integration across disciplines is part and parcel of education at Aquinas, where as Dr. Haynes reflected, “This is Aquinas’ genius…it is the genius of Catholic education. Everything [in the student’s education] should work in service of the whole person.”
Madeline reflected after the conference, “I had a lot of support from the Aquinas community, which really helped me feel more at ease, so I’m very grateful for that.”