Ari Arnold posing with biology lab equipment

Meet Ari Arnold ‘19, Biology

I grew up in Edwardsville, Illinois, right across the river from St. Louis. I played softball all my life. I had a hitting instructor in high school that made me aware of William Woods. I visited and the rest was history. On the visit there were so many attractive selling points; I took a tour of the beautiful campus, and met the girls on the softball team when they took me to lunch with the whole team. Then I met with the coach and got to learn about some of her values.

Overall, there were just so many friendly people, not only on the softball team, but just walking around campus. Everyone would greet you and ask how your day was. The softball team is an even closer-knit community. The joke is that you never see one softball player, there’s always at least a second one with them. Coming in with that built-in group of friends was really appealing.

Ari Arnold looking into a microscopeInterested in Medicine
On my first campus visit, I met with the Biology department. The professor I met with was great, and he actually kind of altered my career path and changed my standards for myself. He was my selling point for the school. I’ve always known I was interested in medicine but never knew what field I wanted to go into. When I met with the Biology department on my visit, they pointed out Physician’s Assistant school. I looked into the job perspectives for that field and was really sold on it. I have just always been interested in science and physiology. The human anatomy has always fascinated me.

Connecting Biology with Other Fields
I think one of my favorite classes was Bio-Medical Ethics with Bob Scott as the professor. That was so interesting because it combined ethics with theology and medicine. It was really applicable to what I’ll be doing in the future. I also really enjoy all of my Psychology classes, as I have a Psychology minor. Right now I’m in Abnormal Psychology and it breaks up the routine of all the Biology classes. But I can also draw connections between the two fields which is really interesting to see.

President's Twenty Members posing with Screech for the Week of Welcome

A Leader on Campus
I really enjoy being involved on campus. Around sophomore year I started working as a Community Advisor and then I was promoted to the Head Community Advisor in the freshmen hall. I enjoy working with freshmen and helping them with the transition to college and anything else they might need. I also oversee the student life policies for the hall. I’m involved in Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Society (ODK), President’s Twenty, the National Society for of Leadership and Success and Pre-Med Club.

There are so many people that you get to meet on campus that you might not have met otherwise if you were not involved. For example, being a Community Advisor in the freshmen hall, everyone at some point in their college career lives there so you get to meet all the incoming students from all different backgrounds. For other organizations such as ODK and President’s Twenty, it’s nice to be associated with other leaders on campus.

Students on the Beach

Busy Schedule
Most days in the mornings I workout with weights in the gym, before I go to my classes. In between my classes I’m either in the Tucker Dining Hall or in the McNutt Student Center grabbing a quick bite to eat and studying. In the afternoon is usually when I have some down-time unless I have a lab that day. I try to get my studying done during that time. Practice is in the evenings for 6 pm – 10 pm. After that I go back to my room and wind-down from the day. There’s also a lot of meetings throughout the day.

In my free time I spend a lot of time in McNutt Campus Center studying. I’m a big planner, so I enjoy making lists and scheduling out my day or week. If I have extra free time beyond studying, I’m the typical college student – watching Netflix, lounging around, or hanging out with friends.

Softball Student-Athletes posing in a line

College Life Balance
I think balance is one of the most important lessons I have learned in college. Especially during my sophomore year, when I took on a lot of stuff. I was in three labs, plus playing softball, and involved in my clubs. So sometimes I missed out on some personal things like time with friends. I learned you have to balance it all to take care of yourself and all your needs.

In Softball, there’s a lot of time the schedule changes due to weather. Like this winter we had a game cancelled over the weekend and moved it up to Thursday because the weather was nicer that day. One time I found out on a Thursday, we had to take finals the next Friday, Saturday and Sunday because we were going to be gone all of finals week. So with a schedule like that, you cannot procrastinate. I make sure I have all my work done ahead of time so that I’m prepared for these changes.

Five Year Plan
I have a five-year plan. For Physician’s Assistant school you need hands-on experience with patient care. I’m currently working as a CNA at the Fulton Manor Nursing Home. I’d like to get more experience as a researcher or Patient Care Technician for a year or two before applying to school. Then hopefully I’ll be accepted into a school. It’s a 28-month program. The first year, you take a lot of the same classes as medical students. The second year is hands-on learning. After that, I have not decided exactly what field I want to work in. I’m looking at schools in Illinois and Missouri.