Meet Kaitlyn Hudgins
Minors: Health Policy and Administration and International Studies
Hometown: Kitty Hawk, N.C.
Last year Kaitlyn traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to attend the Education without Borders conference— a 4-day international student conference that builds networks across cultures by engaging the world’s most innovative students to generate solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges. After graduation, Kaitlyn will be working as a project coordinator for the Translational Science Institute at Wake Forest Baptist Health.
I started at Wake Forest not even knowing what anthropology was. I was set on studying pre-med as a biology major then changed my mind to health and exercise science. It wasn’t until I learned about anthropology through another student that I realized that anthropology is at the heart of everything. How better to help people than by understanding their culture, the way they communicate and the way they live?
One of your favorite Wake traditions is Hit the Bricks. Tell us about it.
Hit the Bricks is a campus-wide event that raises money for the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund. Teams run laps around the brick-covered sidewalk of Hearn Plaza, while friends cheer from the sidelines. It’s just amazing how many students, faculty, and staff come out to participate. In 2011 we raised $26,782 for cancer research. Eighty-nine teams ran more than 25,000 laps around the Quad.
Why was study abroad important to you?
Through the conference in Dubai, and studying abroad and traveling through Europe and South Africa, I developed a fascination with learning and discovery. I’ve been exposed to numerous students of varying backgrounds and disciplines and have listened to their stories about finding their passions. It’s amazing where projects and interests are taking people.
How have you changed over the past four years?
I am much more outgoing, and willing to try new things and take new risks. I don’t hold back and jump at every opportunity that comes to me.
Was there something that encouraged this change?
Networking and asking for what I wanted. It’s amazing how much I accomplished and what opportunities I enjoyed just by asking for them. Be assertive. Get yourself out there. Talk to your professors. These were all things I was told throughout my four years at Wake Forest. I used this advice to secure internships and get travel funds for conferences, and I plan to use it in my future career.
What is your best memory?
The times I spent in South Africa learning about health care issues and why providing good care is easier in certain areas than in others. Realizing the cultural barriers to access, to understanding, to communication — it was these moments when I realized how important what I’ve been learning in the classroom is and how it applies.
What will you miss most?
The Wake Forest community. The moment I got to Wake Forest there was a sense of community and engagement, something I can’t quite describe that I haven’t felt walking onto any other college campus. I will miss being fully immersed.