Inspiring future health care providers: Della Keats Health Sciences Summer Program

Carolyn Knackstedt was a junior in high school when she applied to the Della Keats Health Sciences Summer Program. During the four-week experience she lived on campus, attended college-level classes, and job shadowed in a hospital emergency room, physical therapy office and alongside a pediatric cardiologist.

“That is very difficult to obtain as a 16- or 17-year-old,” Carolyn says. “This exposure would have been impossible for me to accomplish on my own.”

“After my summer at Della Keats, I definitely knew I wanted to have a career in health care,” says Carolyn, who returned the next year as a high school senior to participate in the Della Keats Summer Research Program, a six-week, mentor-guided health research internship.

Carolyn went on to obtain her bachelor’s of science in biology before being accepted in 2016 to WWAMI, a collaborative medical school among universities in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“I’m very passionate about this program. It was so influential in getting me to where I am today, and I’m not sure I would be here without it,” says Carolyn, who is preparing to start her third-year clerkship rotations. “I hope to see this program continue to grow and inspire many other future health care providers.”


Investments with a Lasting Impact

Private support is vital to programs like the ones featured in this year’s report. Because of you, and donors like you, the University of Alaska is able to provide opportunities such as these for the benefit of our students, future students, and ultimately the entire state of Alaska. Make a gift