KU WOMEN DISTINCTION
What led you to your area of study/field of interest?
My mom has a great interest in science. She got a degree in physiology and then later a masters in nursing. Her enthusiasm towards the subject attracted me toward the field. I became interested in medicine on my own. The human body is so amazing. I also love to be around and work with people so medicine seemed like the natural choice.
What honor, achievement or accomplishment is most meaningful to you? Why?
Right now, I hold my accomplishments in track in the highest esteem. It is hard not to when you dedicate so much of your life to it. Becoming a Big Twelve Champion is definitely at the top of the list, but I always strive for more.
Who has been influential or had a significant impact on your life?
I have had many people influence my life. As stated above, ‘Lissa Clark, my mom, has helped edge my curiosity in science, but she has also showed me how to be courteous to others and to always have a smile on my face even through adversity. Dwight Clark, my dad, is a very hard worker and has always pushed me to be the best I can be. He is by far my number one fan and it is always nice to have that much encouragement. My brother, Bryan, has taught me how to relax in situations when I am worked up and how to laugh and have a good time. I also can’t forget my friends from home and college because the people you are around inevitably mold you into the person that you are. Luckily, my friends all have amazing and unique qualities. Coaches have impacted me greatly, teaching me how to react to failure, but also how to be victorious. Some of these include: Stanley Redwine – my coach at the University of Kansas, and Linda Gdowski – my track coach at Elkhorn High School who was with me since the fourth grade. At the University of Kansas, I have had many excellent professors that helped me through my education. Two of the best were Robert Carlson in Organic Chemistry and Fusao Takusagawa in Biochemistry.
Why do you believe it is important to recognize women for their accomplishments?
I believe that it is important to recognize anyone who has accomplished something notable.
What is a most favorite/least favorite memory as a student?
My favorite two memories as a KU student are both sports-related. I love how fanatical KU supporters can get. The first memory is March Madness of my sophomore year. I have never seen anything close to campus and Mass. Street on the nights of our victories. People were crazy and it was amazing. The second memory is last year’s Football victory over Missouri. My friends and I - painted faces, chests, and all – dove into the crowd of fanatical students and ran straight for the goal posts. The rush of the crowd and the fact that you could be trampled any second was exhilarating.
What is your definition of success?
I believe that success has two forms and you must satisfy each of them in order to reach true success. The first form is setting a goal and then doing all you can to accomplish it. The goal cannot be too easy to achieve because accomplishing something that doesn’t take much work is not truly success. The second form of success is best stated by Ralph Waldo Emerson. “To laugh often and much; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” People can get too caught up in accomplishing their first goals and failure in these seems like the end of the world. Don’t overlook how you are living your life and whom you are influencing. In order to truly be successful, you must work towards goals, but also have fun in the meanwhile. Laugh and relax. Try to be optimistic because that is hard in such a negative society.
The Emily Taylor