News & Stories
Ben Major
July 16, 2020

Biology graduate returns home for medical school

Ben Majors ’20 left campus early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t stop him from completing his undergraduate studies and pursuing his next step. Beginning this fall, Ben will attend the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in his home state.

Ben came to Berry as a shy, timid freshman having no idea how much he would flourish as a leader while tackling pre-med studies as a biology major. Professor of Biology Michael Morgan met Ben as a senior in high school and immediately noticed his caring personality. One year later, he offered Ben the position of first-year mentor for incoming pre-med students, and the two worked together to help first-year students adjust to college. “Ben has a deep sense of concern and compassion for other people. I’ve seen that in the way he helps others,” Morgan says.  

Ben was also hired as a resident assistant for the WinShape College Program, a Christian scholarship program that fosters community and equips students to become leaders. Even though he worked on a hall with first-year and upper-level students, Ben developed fun programs like video-gaming competitions that united the hall. According to Ben, “My job working as an RA really molded me into who I am and showed me that my voice carries weight.”

Although much of his Berry experience focused on preparation for medical school, Ben built strengths and values through his community. “The WinShape curriculum really showed me the importance of making lifelong friends,” Ben says. “My friend group still meets weekly on Zoom, even though we live all across the nation.”

Ben experienced a new side to college when he spent a summer in Paris, studying medicinal chemistry with Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry Lindsey Davis. Ben took full advantage of his connection and landed a job helping Davis research protein synthesis.

“After Paris, Ben helped me with my chemical biology research,” Davis says. “He was a pioneer in helping me with an experiment that I’ve been working on for years.” The experiment is aimed at hijacking bacteria in order to manipulate natural protein function.

As he did at Berry, Ben will bring compassion to his chosen profession. He spent a significant portion of his childhood receiving treatment for a neurological disease at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) and saw firsthand how impactful the medical field could be. “My doctor at ACH always made me feel special and important,” Ben says. “He was a huge part of my story and my family’s story, and I want to be able to do that for someone else.”

Given his own story of resilience, Ben is determined to share hope with future patients while reflecting the love that his doctor showed his family during uncertain times.

MaryBanks Shelander (junior)

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