Alyssa Tunison '16

Class Year


Area(s) of Study

Major in Biology and Minor in Spanish


Rockford, Illinois

Graduate Study and Major and Minor

MS-Physician Assistant Practice

What made you choose Lake Forest College? I knew pretty quickly after arriving on campus for my visit that it would be a good fit. The warm and welcoming people, the beautiful campus, and the science department’s strong reputation all led me to choose Lake Forest. Plus, you can’t beat being that close to the beach! 

How did a liberal arts education make a difference for you? I feel like a liberal arts education helped me to be a more well-rounded person. In addition to my core science classes, I was also able to learn about Spanish language and culture, developmental psychology, and even the Science of Cooking which was my first-year studies course! 

What experiences outside of the classroom do you think helped prepare you for PA at RFU? One thing I was involved in outside of campus was being a Student Ambassador. This experience gave me the opportunity to meet prospective students and their families and really helped me to learn to connect with all types of people. The skills that I gained during that experience have helped me to better communicate and connect with my patients. 

How did your time at Lake Forest help you prepare to apply to PA programs?

The science curriculum at Lake Forest was challenging and prepared me for a rigorous curriculum in PA school. The awesome faculty also helped me to find an internship at a local immediate care center where I was able to start getting real-life experience working with patients and being in a healthcare setting. Also, the career center was so, so helpful! They helped me to construct my resume and gave a lot of useful tips for interviewing.

What skills and experiences at Lake Forest do you believe will help you be successful? My time at Lake Forest helped me to grow as a person. I learned how to think critically and to balance a busy course load with outside activities. There are so many groups and clubs to get involved in on campus and all helped me to build different skills. As a biology peer mentor my senior year I was able to build mentoring skills, as a board member for Eukaryon, the school’s life science journal, I learned the process of creating a scientific journal, and as  a volunteer at the annual Lake Forest Day of Service, I learned to connect with my community.

What advice would you give a high school student looking to pursue pre-health and is considering Lake Forest College? To anyone who is at all interested in a healthcare career, my advice would be to do as much shadowing as you can! Not only does it give you a feel for what it would be like to work in healthcare, it is also a great way to network and make connections with people that may help you in the future. For anyone considering Lake Forest, I highly recommend visiting campus and talking to as many students and faculty as you can. It’s the best way to get a sense of the community and to see if you could envision yourself being successful at the college.