Member Testimonials

Ridge Maxson graduated from UGA in 2020 with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Beginning in fall 2020, he will pursue his M.D at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“Early in my freshman year, I committed to MEDLIFE’s mission since it aligned with my personal goal of tackling the root causes of poor health, not just treating its symptoms. I volunteered at over 60 service events throughout my time at UGA, attended a Service Learning Trip in Cusco, Peru, and served on the MEDLIFE executive board for 3 years as Treasurer, Service Chair, and President.

Engaging directly with vulnerable populations deepened my understanding of topics like food insecurity and housing instability that I had only ever examined in theory. More than that, MEDLIFE service events allowed me to make a tangible difference in the Athens community. Working on the executive board created avenues for me to grow as a leader and taught me invaluable lessons in communication, resilience, and motivation. Being a member of MEDLIFE at UGA was the cornerstone of my premedical journey and has equipped me to one day empower others as a physician—thank you, MEDLIFE at UGA!” – Ridge Maxson, Past MedBoard Member



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Sophie Banspach graduated from UGA with a degree in Scientific Illustration. Since graduating, she has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is currently pursuing her Masters of Public Health at Columbia University.

“As an undergraduate student, I wasn’t sure what my plan was – but I knew I wanted to use my education to make a difference in the lives of others. Becoming involved in MEDLIFE at UGA was a pivotal experience that gave me strong, tangible experience creating actionable change in local and global communities. Additionally, serving as a Co-Fundraising Chair and as a Public Relations Chair on the MEDLIFE board allowed me to gain invaluable leadership and collaboration skills, building friendships and networks for my future.

At UGA, I majored in Scientific Illustration, which is the art of illustrating scientific concepts for education (via textbooks, anatomical diagrams), and minored in Global Health. As a student interested in public health and the visual arts, MEDLIFE provided me the opportunity to use my skills in design and interests in the health sciences to make a difference at a global scale. During my involvement, the MEDLIFE community encouraged thinking “out of the box” to find new opportunities to improve health and give volunteer opportunities to students. On my mobile clinic in Cusco, Peru, I was able to learn from local doctors and community leaders how MEDLIFE uniquely works to impact health in underserved areas. I have since used this knowledge to help me become a more culturally competent and effective health professional.

Following undergrad, I worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a public health associate in Reno, Nevada. I worked in with an immunization program helping coordinate clinic activities, communication projects, and other implementation activities for key communities. Currently, I am a Masters of Public Health student at Columbia University with a focus in health communication, and aim to eventually pursue a doctorate. I owe a great deal of my success to my involvement with MEDLIFE, which helped give me skills, networks, and experiences to develop my interests and build a strong future. I highly recommend any student get involved!” – Sophie Banspach, Past MedBoard Member