Erika Almquist

Whether Erika Almquist (Lexington, MA) is training on wooded trails or interning with a local physician assistant, sipping coffee in one of Meadville’s quaint cafés or serving it at Grounds for Change, the student-run coffeehouse in the new campus center, she loves the local opportunities that life at Allegheny affords.

“I really do love the area—I love all the 45-minute drives from here, passing the Amish buggies, going up to Lake Erie.” In fact, local opportunities have enabled Erika to choose a career in healthcare: “The pre-health office helped me set up an internship with a local veterinarian and a preceptorship at the Meadville Medical Center. I set up my physician assistant internship through the biology department.I enjoy all the interaction with patients—it’s not just ‘OK, what’s the problem,’ and then try to fix it. It’s very interpersonal, really caring for people.”

But for Erika, a neuroscience major and Spanish minor, an Allegheny education has meant far more than taking advantage of Northwest Pennsylvania: she spent last semester studying abroad and living with a Spanish family in Seville, Spain. From the local hospital to the foreign plaza, Erika is making the most of the unusual combinations afforded by the setting for an Allegheny education.