Cleveland State Director of Pre-Professional Health Programs receives local business award
Crain’s Cleveland Business since 2014 has been nominating young businessmen and women for its “Forty Under 40” distinction that recognizes leaders in the Cleveland area, and businessmen and women who are dedicated to “making a difference in their companies and their communities.”
This year, Crain’s Cleveland Business selected Cleveland State University Director of Pre-Professional Health Programs Brittany Wampler for one of their 40 spots. Since 2013, Wampler has been a driving force in helping health program students at CSU prepare for medical school and beyond.
“Prior to my coming to CSU, my office existed but there was only one person in the role... I had to hit the ground running,” Wampler said. “We’re not necessarily academically advising a student through their college career, we’re helping them get ready for what’s beyond that.”
Wampler noted that her work as the director of pre-professional health programs often entails being a long-term guide for students, and helping to put their degree into action as a career. But first, she must work with her students and help them reach their short-term goal of being accepted into medical school.
“It takes a very long time of preparation to get into any of these programs,” Wampler said. “And once you’re in, these programs are anywhere from two to four years or longer. My job is helping them when they’re prospective students, and then all the way through their time at CSU.”
In addition to building the pre-professional health program office from the ground up, Rachel Abbey McCafferty of Crain’s Cleveland Business said that one of the things that makes Wampler special is her willingness to “break down the barriers” of the medical field, especially for underserved and underprivileged students.
“In order for me to help a student get in, I need to comprehensively support them,” Wampler said.
“The diversity of CSU is the best part about CSU,” Wampler said. “So, students that have more barriers to access, they need greater support structures, and I have tried creatively and strategically to [fundraise for them]. Students from backgrounds that don’t have privilege, in society or in college, need extra support to even understand how to get in.”
Wampler noted that about 75% of her students have gone on to get accepted into medical school. The national average for pre-professional health students hovers just above 40%. Despite the individual success that led to her reward from Crain’s Cleveland Business, Wampler said that she is much happier that the recognition will bring CSU’s strengths to light.
“Recognition is not required, but it always feels good,” she said. “I know that it is a recognition of the work I’ve done at Cleveland State, but I hope the outcome of it impacts students in a positive way. My hope is that it sheds a positive light on CSU in a difficult time.”