Jessica Dudley '14

Class Year


Area(s) of Study

Major in Neuroscience and Minor in Philosophy


Chicago, Illinois

Graduate Study and Major and Minor

University of Illinois Chicago

What do you think of the new Health Professions Program between Lake Forest College and Rosalind Franklin University?

I am so EXCITED about this new program. (I wish I was there now). I think this program will help students: 1. Jumpstart their careers and begin making an impact earlier. 2. Bring even more networking opportunities 3. Save money. In terms of nursing, there is a nationwide shortage of nurses (especially nurses with advanced degrees) and this will alleviate that shortage narrowing a gap in disparities across the nation that plague so many underserved residents. 


What made you choose Lake Forest College? 

Lake Forest College had small class sizes, which for some will be the make or break in their success. I liked that my professors were accessible and rallied for my success. Financial aid can be a major determinant in selecting a college. The Lake Forest College Office of Financial Aid educated me from the beginning about ALL options to help pay for college. 


How did a liberal arts education make a difference for you? 

The liberal arts aspect is what makes it worthwhile. Some folks go to college knowing what they want to do, and others go not knowing. The liberal arts aspects melded different departments and helped spark creativity in me, which helped me carve out the job I wanted and the impact I wanted to make in society. I remember attending a talk about mirror neurons and neuroscience that was put on by the theater department. THAT is the Liberal arts aspect.


What experiences outside of the classroom do you think helped prepare you for nursing school?  

Participating in research labs in the summer helped me learn peer review processes, the scientific method, and the importance of networking. Athletics helped me understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle, while the different cultural clubs helped me learn about important social justice topics that are essential to working as a health professional. 


How did your time at Lake Forest College help you prepare to apply to nursing school programs? 

My faculty advisor helped guide me in the appropriate classes to take and networking with an array of health professionals helped me understand the difference, for example, between the medical model and the nursing model. Meeting various nurses across specialties and faculty breaking down the application process helped me understand which programs fit my lifestyle; this included location, class sizes, their impact on social determinants, etc. 


What skills and experiences at Lake Forest College helped you be successful?

Being open-minded, taking electives that are science geared (philosophy, arts, etc), participating in summer research, participating in clubs that YOU LIKE, and maintaining good relationships with faculty.


What advice would you give a high school student looking to pursue pre-health and is considering Lake Forest College?

NETWORK. NETWORK. NETWORK. Talk with faculty, do informational interviewing, volunteer, and make sure that self-care and self-love are implemented in your routine.