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Physiology & Developmental Biology Honored Student

Jacob Smith_PDBio.MOV

Jacob Smith

Graduation Message
Congratulations, fellow graduates and friends! This is a moment to be proud of: four years of intense effort, long nights, early mornings, getting a spot in a research lab, trying to get out of organic chemistry lab, and elevated heart rates as we hiked up to campus past the Life Science Building. These are but a few of the common experiences that we shared as College of Life Sciences graduates.

However, what truly unites us is our shared experience as scholars of faith and science. I hope that each of you have had mentors and teachers that have taught you how to balance these two interconnecting principles as I have had. I am grateful for those mentors, teachers, and peers that have helped me develop my toolset for evaluating and acting on evidence of all types. This will enable us to share light with those around us in the years to come. We have learned; now go forth and serve! Go Cougars!

About Jacob Smith
Jacob Smith is graduating this year with a bachelor’s degree in physiology and developmental biology and then going on to study medicine—a path inspired by his high school physiology class and encouraged by a mentoring physician. As Smith shadowed this physician in the operating room, a strong desire to learn more about the intricacies of the human body was ignited within him.

Even though the journey has been challenging, Smith appreciates all that he’s learned during his time at Brigham Young University. He values the practical and fascinating material presented by professors in the College of Life Sciences. And, he believes that the difficulty of the courses has prepared him to dive into understanding more challenging concepts. At the conclusion of his program, Smith also feels that he has a greater ability to manage his time effectively.

Smith has participated in various research and internship opportunities. During his first year at BYU, he began working in Dr. Kooyman’s osteoarthritis research lab. In 2018, Smith volunteered with Utah Valley Hospital’s outpatient recovery clinic, working with patients in cardiac rehabilitation. These experiences helped form his passion for research and problem-solving. It also developed the empathy he wishes to carry through his future career as a doctor.

After graduation, Smith will attend the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Arizona beginning in July. He’s grateful to Dr. Kooyman for his integrity, kindness, and wisdom, and also for the prayers that Kooyman offered on Smith’s behalf. He is also thankful for his friend Brandon Rose who’s been a great example of how to balance the nuances of life. Smith would also like to recognize his family, especially his wife, whose support, faith, advice, and sacrifices have helped him achieve his goals.