Christopher Beecroft (Class of 2018)

  • senior Biology major, with a Premedical Studies co-major
  • minor in Ethics, Society and Culture
  • from Dayton, OH
  • member of the student advisory board for the Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education
  • resident assistant (RA) in Stanton Hall
  • Miami University cheerleader
"I've found my liberal arts education at Miami to be very fulfilling. It provides the resources and skills needed for actually interacting with others in the world and being a more well-rounded individual rather than just focusing on the hard sciences or business."

Why Miami?

Christopher Beecroft and a friend are the first fans in line for a Miami University ice hockey game.

"I looked at a few different schools in Ohio, including two in the MAC (Mid-American Conference) and one in the Big Ten. Big schools were just too big for me; everything was sectioned off, and going to one part of campus wasn't a mere 10-minute walk but more a 20-minute bus ride.

"But when I visited Miami, I saw beautiful brick buildings, a nice day, grass everywhere, the Quads. I'm now a senior, but how Miami was presented then has not changed for me: relatively small, beautiful, and friendly. They call it the One-Mile Square because it is a mile around and I can get everywhere. Oxford is also an hour from home, and it offered me a great route for pre-med.

"Everyone here is welcoming to each other. When you walk down the street, people say 'hi' and smile. This includes when you join student clubs or go to athletic events. This inspired me to find great leadership experience within my residence hall, and I joined different clubs that work towards leadership and community service. During games, we're all there with the same common purpose to cheer on the Miami team, so if they score a touchdown or get a goal you are high-fiving the guy next to you, even if you have no idea who they are. That is something I really love about Miami.

"I started out my freshman year thinking I was going to be a chiropractor, but once I started going through biology and pre-med classes and doing more I realized I wanted to follow a more medicine-focused route. In high school, I never had to study and could still get As in classes, but coming to Miami was a big transition. Some classes during my first two semesters, especially chemistry, hit me hard academically, so I've been building my grades back up ever since and have done a lot better.

"I'm now feeling ready for med school, where I'll be focusing on a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program, which has a more holistic, hands-on approach."

Best Miami Experiences

"Some of my best experiences have been working as a residence assistant in Stanton Hall, which houses the Premedical Living and Learning Community (LLC) — all students planning to head off to some sort of health professional school. It has been a great way to be a role model, someone who has taken the same steps as the freshmen and sophomores have.

"One of my first leadership experiences was as president of the Community Leadership Team (CLT), which is found in every residence hall on campus. The presidents are all part the Residence Hall Association (RHA), one of the largest organizations on campus. We serve as a voice for the residents and enact most of the changes and improvements you see in the halls.

"On top of that, in Stanton I plan activities for 200 to 300 students, including putting on socials and bringing a better community. It has really helped me gain decisive, dedicated leadership. Because most of the people you live with are in your classes, that is how I ended up making a lot of my friends. I plan my schedule around two of my best friends, and we try to have every class together to study.

"Finally, I am on the student advisory board for the Mallory-Wilson Center. Along with two other board members, under the guidance of assistant director Rob Balfour, we actually planned the pre-health graduating student reception committee."

Miami and the Liberal Arts

Christopher Beecroft poses in front of the historic Reichstag in Berlin, Germany.

"I've found my liberal arts education at Miami to be very fulfilling. It provides the resources and skills needed for actually interacting with others in the world and being a more well-rounded individual rather than just focusing on the hard sciences or business. Some of the most interesting courses I've taken would include a German film history course my sophomore year. This course focused on different films produced by German directors and involved discussions around the plot and what was happening around the world during production and release. Without the liberal arts mindset at Miami, I feel like I would never have taken that course because I would be too focused on my Biology studies. Yet, by taking that course, I was able to picture the world in a bigger sense than just what is occurring in Oxford, or Ohio, or even the US.

"Some of my favorite classes at Miami have naturally been in biology. One class in particular was Plant Anatomy and Development [BIO 402W], which I took with my freshman year roommate. Although neither of us knew anything about botany beyond some basics, it didn't really matter because it was taught by Richard Moore and Daniel Gladish, who are both great. They taught us the fundamentals of how to identify and stain different tissues of the plant and observe them under a microscope, as well as all the genetic pathways that controlled development and function. I left the class with not only a great appreciation for botany but also a letter of recommendation from Dr. Moore for medical schools.

"Another course I enjoyed was Confronting Death and Dying [PHL 360], which dove into what it's like to think about your own death and is strongly related to the healthcare field. It was fascinating to learn various different definitions of death and the different ways that philosophers view what is right and wrong in terms of our own mortality."

Serving as a Student Leader/Mentor for Premedical Students

Christopher describes his leadership and mentoring roles as a resident assistant on campus.

Being a Positive Role Model Video Transcript

Advice to Students

"If you're looking to do something outside the classroom, make sure to always stop at Mega Fair and look on the Hub. Miami has over 500 student organizations on campus, so there is probably something that will pique your interest. Don't be afraid to get out there and find something crazy that you think is a stretch — you might end up loving it!

"Also, try not to do too much. You have to remember you're also a student — you have classes, exams, and other responsibilities, so if you join 6 orgs your first semester you are going to be wishing you didn't. It's not like high school, where you can be in every club and still get straight As. College is a different beast. Find what you want to do, be passionate about it, take those leadership roles. This will ride you through your freshman year, and as you grow older you won't be afraid to take on more responsibilities.

"As a big fan of Miami athletics, I have even expanded my involvement to be a part of the university cheerleading team. All of this gains you a lot of experience that you can use in the real world. If I can do all these things, then so can you!"

[January 2018]