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EIU 360

EIU 360

A Will To Succeed

Whether it's soccer or science, nobody's going to outwork Nick Smith.

“I want to be the hardest working person in the room. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I will have the most passion. As a result of that, I know I’ll be successful.”

With an attitude like this, it’s no wonder Nick Smith has been able to make the most of his time at Eastern Illinois University. Smith, a senior pre-med student who double-majors in biological sciences and chemistry, is from Bolingbrook and also happens to play for the Panther men’s soccer team and was named to the 2014 Summit League All-Academic Team.

Smith’s determination to maximize his college years comes in spite of some rather significant challenges.

“I’ve battled a lot of hardship in terms of my family and sickness and my parents not being able to support me,” explained Smith, who went on to talk about how scholarships have factored into his life.

“It’s really made everything possible for me,” Smith said of the scholarship money he’s earned. “Without it, I don’t know if I’d be here.”

In his time at EIU, Smith hasn’t just been an exemplary classroom student; he’s forged great relationships with some of the great scientific minds this university’s faculty and alumni base have to offer.

“I’ve received great mentorship through Dr. (Gordon) Grado, who is an Eastern alum,” said Smith. “He went to Eastern and now he’s practicing out in Arizona. As a result of his mentorship, I was able to go out to Arizona and work with him.

“Now I have a great relationship with Dr. Grado; we speak weekly and he is currently helping me in the process of understanding the medical field, applying for medical school, and getting ready to go to medical school.”

Smith also recounts spending the summer of 2014 on campus, working with faculty members of the Department of Biological Sciences.

“Research grants have been a great way for me to continue my research and continue my interests in pursuing the research questions I’ve come up with and really aspire to solve.

“I was able to collaborate with Dr. Menz and Dr. Nathan, and they were really helpful in terms of guiding my project and guiding my research skills. I really developed as an adult, as an analytical thinker, and as a student of science.”

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Amazing university, students, employees and professors. I am glad to be a student in #EIU and I feel I'm around my family#EIUGOTIME😍😍

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I chose Eastern because I loved the family friendly community they have. I am super excited to attend Eastern!… https://t.co/Kcja6lP34u

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