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From Mishaps to Medicine

Honored Grad Interview: Seth Isaac Evans, Microbiology

Seth Evans (‘22) toyed with the idea of going to medical school but didn’t want to commit without a good reason. Then, Evans broke his femur during a high school football game—throwing him headfirst into the world of medicine, and giving him the reason to pursue medical school that he was searching for.

“My orthopedic surgeon was an amazing guy,” Evans says. “I had never really liked doctors, just because it was kind of scary—you know, needles and everything. But I went to him, and he and I formed a great relationship.”

That personal connection allowed Evans to see first-hand the possibility of becoming a physician himself. He had opportunities to job shadow in high school, and by the time he came to BYU, he knew the medical world was something he wanted to pursue.

For almost two years, Evans has volunteered as a medical interpreter at the Maliheh Free Clinic in Salt Lake City. He is part of a leadership group focusing on correctly training people in medical interpretation before they begin working at the facility. Beyond balancing service and his busy homework schedule, Evans also enjoys anything outside, especially snowboarding and fishing.

Evans grew up in Newbury Park, California, and comes from a family full of BYU Alumni. Despite having many great schooling options within his native state, Evans knew he wanted to attend BYU because of his family member’s great experiences with the faculty and students.

One of the biggest highlights of Evan’s BYU experience is working in the Grose lab, led by microbiology and molecular biology professor Julianne Grose. “She’s so encouraging, and she makes sure you have every opportunity to grow,” Evans says. “I’ve learned so much in that lab.” In addition, Evans says he enjoys how professional and engaging the labs are and appreciates the autonomy he is given to run experiments and pursue the scientific questions he had in mind.

But of course, studying microbiology isn’t all fun and games. One academic challenge Evans had to overcome was developing his writing abilities. While he obviously wrote well enough to get into BYU, he says he “still needed to improve a lot.” For a while, he tried to avoid writing as much as possible–but he realized his avoidance was only a crutch. “I took classes where I knew I’d write a lot, especially this last year, because I wanted to make sure that I was up to par,” Evans says. “What helped me overcome [my challenge] was actually recognizing it, and telling myself, ‘Well, you’re just going to have to work through it.’”

Following graduation, Evans will begin medical school in the fall at University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine Greenville. But before that, he’ll spend his summer vacation traveling to Europe for the first time, hopefully stopping by Paris and visiting the Pasteur Museum—one of the only microbiology museums in the world.

Headshot of Seth Evans, Honored Grad
Photo by Nicholas Rex