Nov. 20, 2009
By MOISEKAPENDA BOWER
The experiences only confirmed what Megan Land already knew deep within her heart, but the reinforcements of her core beliefs was needed.
Land, a senior freestyle specialists with the Owls' swimming program, had committed herself academically to a career in medicine before working with the Baylor Teen Health Clinic following her sophomore year at Rice and volunteering for a Humanitarian Medical Outreach mission to Ghana this past summer. However, those decisions shaped her perspective in manners she never envisioned before signing up.
"It was one of those experiences that was life-changing," Land said of her five-week stay in Ghana. "You look at everything differently when you see how people live in the Third World. And it's really sad when you see these kids that will never get the chances that I've had, so it really makes you look at your life a little bit differently. It's just another experience that made me really sure that I wanted to be a doctor because I realized how much I could really help a wide range of people."
Land conduced HIV/AIDS testing for pregnant women and high-risk groups at a local clinic and also participated in community awareness programs focusing on AIDS education and testing. She worked in an orphanage housing HIV-positive children, and soaked in the experience with teammate and roommate Pam Zelnick, a breaststroke specialist.
Already in possession of one acceptance letter for medical school, Land is continuing the process of finding where she will continue her education after she earns her Rice degree in psychology/religious studies. Her volunteer work serving medically underserved communities altered her ideas of life beyond Rice's hedges of protection.
Land has helped others inside the hedges, too. She serves as a peer academic advisor, a task that involves guiding freshmen student-athletes through the rigors of Rice academics. The process entails explaining the time commitment needed to thrive academically and sharing wisdom with time management skills. Those were skills that Land needed time to cultivate, so she is motivated to instruct others.
"My position as a PAA has allowed me to really share with my teammates how to make the most out of their time here," Land said. "It's been incredibly rewarding. I really like helping others to not make the same mistakes I made. I know that it was really hard for me the first two years to get my schedule under control, so now I'm just trying to let others know how best to manage their time and what the right things to do are, especially in terms of premed."
Being so dynamic didn't come easy for Land, and there were moments when she contemplated her athletic commitment in relation to her studies and community work. But what Rice has to offer is so enriching that Land could not bear the thought of ending her career prematurely.
"I think that thought goes through everyone's head, but at the same time I really feel like the Rice athletic experience is not something that everyone gets a chance to be a part of," Land said. "I really didn't take the decision lightly, so every time I felt like I really couldn't do it anymore I just really considered what a unique experience it is and I never actually quit. Here I am my senior year, and I'm still going."
By displaying a relentless commitment to multiple endeavors, Megan Land will be one of Tomorrow's Leaders.
Enhanced Stadium Experience Awaits Fans in 2015
08/31/2015 - Football - Rice football fans who have been eagerly anticipating the start of the 2015 college football season will find a number of improvements and...
Soccer Team Back Home To Face Familiar Named Foes
09/02/2015 - W. Soccer - Rice soccer (3-1-0) is home for two matches this week - a near-rewind to some opponents the Owls' athletics teams played against for almost three-q...
David Bailiff Press Conference Quotes
08/31/2015 - Football - Head Coach David Bailiff held his weekly press conference this afternoon in preparation for Saturday's Wagner game.
Volleyball Hosts Lamar In Home Opener Tuesday
08/31/2015 - W. Volleyball - The Rice Owls (2-1) volleyball team returns to the court Tuesday for their home opener against the Lamar Cardinals (3-0) at 6 p.m.
Hughes Named C-USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week
08/31/2015 - W. Soccer - Rice senior forward Lauren Hughes has been named the Conference USA Soccer Co-Offensive Player of the Week the league office announced from its...
McDaniel Earns C-USA Setter of the Week
08/31/2015 - W. Volleyball - Rice sophomore setter Madison McDaniel was recognized as the Conference USA Setter of the Week, the league office announced on Monday.
David Bailiff Radio Show Debuts Tonight
08/31/2015 - General Release - The sixth season of David Bailiff's one-hour radio show is back on Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 in a new location for 2015: The Gorgeous Gael in the...
Owls Defeat Sam Houston 2-0 At BBVA Compass...
08/30/2015 - W. Soccer - Senior Lauren Hughes scored the first goal and quickly assisted on the second to help pace the Rice soccer team to a 2-0 victory over longtime foe ...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store