Inspired by Medical Professionals as a Child, Keiser University Valedictorian Plans to Become a Pediatrician

As a child growing up in Kingston Jamaica, Keiser University Flagship Campus Valedictorian Errolesha Thompson shared that she was often sick and spent much time undergoing surgeries. The transformative hospital experiences opened her eyes to the vital roles of many healthcare professionals.

“It was there, surrounded by the medical staff, particularly the doctors, that I decided I wanted to be a pediatrician. The interest was further honed by my childhood pediatrician Dr. Donald Gordon who serves as one of my role models,” recalled Thompson.

The first in her family to go to college, Thompson shared that she also enjoyed opportunities as a child to develop a strong foundation in science, as she would often visit science museums and conduct small experiments at home with help from her mother. The capabilities, combined with inner strength and self-determination have uniquely prepared her for a future in healthcare. “There’s a saying in my country that perfectly exemplifies my person, ‘wi likkle but wi tallawah.’ This means that though I may be of a small country, I am strong-willed and refuse to be restrained by the boundaries in the way of my goals,” said Thompson.

Role models like Gordon have also served to inspire academic excellence. “Doctor Gordon was definitely a beacon of light in my decision to pursue my future career path. I recall being so infatuated with his white coat and the level of expertise he displayed during my visits that it was almost as if my illness had disappeared upon arriving at his office,” she smiled.

Now graduating as co-valedictorian along with Audrey Chouraqui Azoulay, Thompson also acknowledges those who have played transformative roles including her Keiser University residence hall leader Pedro Fonseca Mendoza, and others.  “Studying here has taught me the importance of balancing my academic obligations, campus organizations, and social life. Also, I was given the opportunity to learn from the best possible educators,” she said while imparting special thanks to Dr. Shawn McPartland, Keiser’s Biomedical Science Program Director and University Department Chair.

Fellow learners should embrace the full experience of college life and learning, she shared. “Never lose sight of what is truly important and enjoy the journey. Often, we get so blindsided by the end goal that we forget to recognize how much we overcame to get there,” she said.

Keiser University’s Bachelor of Science degree program in Biomedical Sciences prepares students for entry into health sciences and analytical/research laboratories. Graduates possess the skills to perform in a variety of science-related positions in health departments, zoos, clinical and environmental chemistry, pharmaceutics, and laboratories.  Graduates of the program will have completed the prerequisites necessary to be successful in graduate programs in the sciences as well as a multitude of professional programs such as occupational and physical therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, and physician and physician assistant programs. However, a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences can also be a program for individuals who wish to work in laboratory settings and other occupations.

Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees from associate to the doctoral level. Keiser University is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in providing Social Mobility by U.S. News and World Report in 2023.

Keiser University Flagship Campus Co-Valedictorian Errolesha Thompson



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