Aspiring Neurosurgeon is National Merit Semifinalist
Jamie Sokoloff’s '21 teachers describe her as bright and highly motivated. Those adjectives definitely fit this high performer who has her plate full with extracurriculars.
Jamie, who dreams of being a surgeon, says she is fascinated by the brain and the way modern engineering can make major advancements in neurological injuries. Jamie has always favored math and science, but the main event that solidified her desire to one day make a career out of it was Hutchison’s career shadow day where she shadowed a renowned neurosurgeon at Semmes-Murphy. “I was able to witness first-hand how grateful each patient was for the doctor, and the fascinating cases pulled me into the field of neurosurgery,” Jamie said. “Since then, I have known I want to study neuroscience in college and attend medical school.” Jamie also attended Duke University’s summer program, Innovations in Medical Care. There, she had the opportunity to delve deeper into learning about medicine by visiting a cadaver lab as well as experience the group research process. Her research group focused on neuroprosthesis.
This past summer, Jamie participated in a virtual program with the University of Chicago that allowed her to work with different software programs that focused on molecular cloning, gene expression and sequencing, and amplifying DNA. “During this program I had to learn to figure things out on my own,” Jamie said. “For our experiment proposal, there were no guidelines, so I had to think outside the box to come up with ideas. Considering I have never designed my own experiment, much less completed one of that complexity, I learned a lot by having to make sure every detail of our experiment was provided in our proposal.”
In addition to being an aspiring neurosurgeon, Jamie is a talented equestrian. She has been riding horses since second grade and volunteers at Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy. “When I get to the barn, I am able to leave all the stress from school and other aspects of my life behind because I know my horse does not care about whether a project did not go as planned or how I did on a test,” Jamie said. “Every other part of my life pauses while I am at the barn, and it provides me with a much-needed break from the rest of my life.”
At Hutchison, Jamie is the president of Global Ambassadors, a student group that tackles social ills on a macro level, and is the co-vice president of Wilson Society, a group that allows Hutchison girls to create structured leadership projects to improve their local community. She is also a member of Model United Nations, the honor council, and the service-learning council. “From my membership in clubs including Global Ambassadors and Wilson Society, I have enjoyed being able to expand my horizons and broaden my perspective,” Jamie said. “It would be incredibly easy to stay in my own ‘bubble’ and only worry about what directly affects me, but through these clubs, I am able to learn more about the world and use my privilege to serve others.”
She is the recipient of the Harvard University Book Award, a highly selective honor for outstanding students who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship and achievement in service and leadership. She is also a member of the Certificate of Science program, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Spanish Honor Society.