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Taking patient care experience to a new level

In choosing her future, Laura Bakke's choice was simple. From the time she was a young girl, she has learned and loved biology, chemistry and most importantly, taking care of her mother.

Shortly after Bakke's birth, her mother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints. As Bakke learned the ins and outs of the condition her mother struggled with - from the countless surgeries to the daily medication- she never stopped caring for her mother. In the interest of learning more about her mother's disease, Bakke chose a future path that will marry life and learning.

As a chemistry and biology major, Bakke's interest in science began in high school. She was chosen to participate in a camp hosted by Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, where she spent a week shadowing professionals and learning the basics of medicine. From this experience, she became interested in pediatric medicine and autoimmune disorders.

As a dedicated and inspiring person, Bakke is involved in many aspects of her ambitious career. During the summer, she spends time as a smile mentor, helping special-needs children with daily activities. This fall, Bakke is participating in a Center for Teaching and Learning Campus Compact volunteer project, providing health care, immunization and overall bone-health knowledge to Minot citizens.

Bakke's involvement on campus is also extensive. She is a First-Year Experience mentor, chemistry tutor, MSU Science Club member, Student Government Association senator, Club and Student Organization representative, MSU chapter of American Chemical Society secretary and Residence Hall Association member.

"These different aspects of the university will give me leadership roles that are crucial for patient care experience and trusting your doctor," Bakke said. "All of this will help me become a better leader."

With graduation on the horizon in 2014, the Reynolds, N.D., native hopes to continue her education at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and nurture her love of helping others.