Lauren Putnam, the Graduating Class Speaker for the 2018 Winter Commencement Ceremony, will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology with a Health Sciences emphasis and a minor in Chemistry. A leader in her class and in the organizations that she works within, Putnam strives to lift up fellow students and up-and-coming high school students, to show them the careers and opportunities available in the health care fields.
Nominated by Brian Merkel, Amanda Nelson, Doug Brusich, Erica Grunseth and Sherri Arendt. Putnam has been an academically outstanding student throughout her time at UW-Green Bay. A recipient of honors for her academics for five semesters during her time on campus (including two semesters of high or highest honors), Putman is also a member of Beta Beta Beta, the honor society for biological sciences, and Phi Eta Sigma, the honors society for first- year students. She received the Founders Merit Scholarship to study at UW-Green Bay.
Putnam was able to further her knowledge in the area of human biology by attending the UW-Green Bay System Symposium for Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity, and the Pre-Med Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons Forum. She furthered her experiences by studying abroad in South Africa. As the president of UW-Green Bay’s Health Science Club, Putnam worked to help students in need. She led the creation of Health Professions Week, hosting graduate students to present about their educational journey and career path.
“In my time at UW-Green Bay, I have been significantly involved in the Health Science Club,” she said. “Our mission, as a student organization is to provide pre-health students with the opportunities that they need to achieve their desired career goals. As president, I coordinated and organized a number of graduate school tours in an effort to provide campus familiarity and networking opportunities. I also advocated for our financially disadvantaged pre-medical student by receiving… funding for an MCAT study set.”
Putnam both served as a research assistant to Brusich, and also worked as a certified nursing assistant at Aspirus Wausau Hospital in the Oncology Care Unit. Putnam also worked on campus as a teaching assistant, a tutor and study group leader at the UW-Green Bay Learning Center, and as a student employee in the David A. Cofrin Library — an experience she said taught her the skills she needed to face her college career. Starting out as a student assistant, she eventually became a student lead, and then student manager.
“I started working at the Cofrin Library my freshman year,” she said. “It was the first job I had ever held at an academic library and initially did not think I would benefit from it other than a paycheck. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I developed critical thinking and problem-solving skills. I also learned, more than anything, how to balance a busy schedule while maintaining enough time for myself. This essential skill allowed me to make time to volunteer my time off-campus as well as hold a leadership position in a student organization while still being happy and healthy.”
Putnam volunteered her time as well, serving as a tutor for high school students at Green Bay West High School and working to raise funds for homeless children at the school. Providing students both in high school and college with new opportunities to learn and experience the health sciences is her primary goal.
“My involvement tutoring at-risk students at West High School has been something I have grown to love,” she said. “Tutoring is about igniting a passion for learning and building up the confidence students need to believe that they can do so much more. Overall, my intention for being involved both on and off campus is to create a structural foundation that will allow students the field experience, knowledge and confidence they need. I dream that I can be a part of creating hopeful future UW-Green Bay graduates and healthcare professionals for years to come.”