A Mission for Medicine
Every college student is asked the question—what are you doing after graduation? Few can answer with as much clarity and detail as Sara Sorrell.

The 2006 Honors College graduate from New Castle, Indiana, earned her Ball State chemistry degree in three years and now has her studies planned through 2013. That's thanks in large part to a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship she earned in 2006, one of only 77 awarded nationally. It pays up to $50,000 annually for tuition, books, housing, and fees over six years.

Sorrell is studying at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She took a leave of absence in summer 2008 to head to the University of Cambridge in England, where she entered a three-year doctoral program in medical genetics. This June, she will return to Indiana to finish her medical degree and wait for the word from Cambridge that her dissertation has been approved and can officially graduate from the 800-year-old university.

Sorrell hasn't decided exactly what medical discipline she wants to pursue. "I began medical school convinced I wanted to be a pediatric cardiosurgeon," she recalled. "I still may do that, but I have been doing kidney research for Cambridge the last two summers, and nephrology really interests me, too."

Whatever field of medicine she settles on, she wants to use it on international missions to help the poor and disadvantaged. "I've offered medical services to rural communities in South Africa and Ecuador," she said. "I would love to work for an organization like Doctors Without Borders that provides humanitarian aid for those less fortunate around the world."

Sorrell credits her career path to her Ball State experiences. "I got terrific preparation for medical school there, and I was an officer with Ball State's Timmy Foundation chapter, which seeks to improve the availability of quality health care for the world's children," she said. "Taking those medical mission trips revealed my life's passion to me."