Name: Kaylah Scharf
Year in school: Senior
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Clubs/Organizations: ASUA (Student Government) - Director of the Student Health Advocacy Committee, Student Chair of the American College Health Association, Hillel, Arizona Ambassadors, Physiology Club, Heartland Hospice Volunteer, PSIO Preceptor, Student Worker at the Honors College
Leisure Pursuits: My friends and family are very important to me, and spending time with them reminds me to keep a work-life balance. I love to stay active by attending spin classes, playing basketball, and exploring Tucson. I am an avid sports fan and I like to unwind by watching sports (Go Mercury, Cardinals, and DBacks!).
Research Projects: I am currently involved with Dr. Molly Bolger's MCB lab, we are redesigning the intro biology lab curriculum and studying STEM persistence. I am writing my Honors Thesis on E-cigarette usage and policies on our campus and universities across the country.
Plans after graduation: I am currently applying to medical school! I aspire to be the first "female, physician, Jewish, President of the United States."
What is something you have done during your time at UA of which you are especially proud?
I am especially proud of my position as the Student Chair of the American College Health Association. I participate in advocacy, research, and education for college health. As the Student Chair, I represent students nationally from over 1100 higher education institutions and I have lobbied Congress on behalf of health education and research focused on LGBTQ+ and veterans' health. I was selected by the University of Arizona to attend the annual American College Health Association conference in Denver last spring, where I won the election for this position. This May, I will serve as a keynote speaker this upcoming annual conference in New Orleans, and I hope to present my Honors Thesis.
What message do you have for other Honors students on finding their own success?
Coming into college, I believed life was all about what you know; but four years later I have come to the realization that who you know is just as important. It's never too early or too late to start forming meaningful connections. There are so many amazing people affiliated with the University of Arizona and in the Tucson community. Don't be afraid to reach out to someone who inspires you, and form a connection: this can be a student, a professor, a community leader. Connections lead to mentorship, letters of recommendation, and most importantly, a support system!
"Kaylah is very hardworking, dedicated, and selfless. She aspires to pursue both medicine and law/politics—two very rigorous and distinct fields—due to her strong desire to make an impact on the world and serve her community. Despite her time consuming and difficult course load she must take on to meet this goal, she still makes time to lead tours for prospective students, work for the Honors advising office, volunteer at a hospice, organize efforts for student health advocacy, and more. I believe she has already made a big impact on the campus community, and she is continuing to do this next semester by assisting with the re-design of an introductory biology course. Since I met Kaylah upon first starting college, I have always admired her and am proud to call her my peer and friend."
– Annabeth Nix, Honors College Peer
To nominate a peer for Student of the Month, please click HERE and complete the submission form. All nominations are subject to Honors College faculty review, approval, and editing for publication.