Anna Lillig ’19
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
High School: St. Pius X High School
UMKC degree program: Health Sciences
Athletics: Women’s Soccer, goal keeper
Why did you choose UMKC?
I was recruited to play for the soccer team, and I knew UMKC had highly respected health programs, something I wanted to go into. I have academic and athletic scholarships. It is very rewarding because I have worked very hard on and off the field all my life, and I continue to do so.
Why did you choose a health degree program?
I came in wanting to do pharmacy but after getting a pharmacy tech job, I realized it wasn’t for me. I was in between pursuing nursing or medical school so I thought health science would best equip me to learn more about the patients I would be taking care of one day.
I feel I have gained great insight on the background of potential patients, such as surrounding stigmas — others being more prone to certain diseases or insurance issues they might face. I think as a health sciences major, I have learned compassion and empathy, something science classes alone can’t teach.
I actually found my dream career through this major. It was in Introduction to Health Science class that a physician assistant (PA) came to speak to us and I instantly fell in love with the role she was describing. I will start in the PA program at UMKC next year after my internship.
“I think as a health sciences major, I have learned compassion and empathy, something science classes alone can’t teach.”
Tell us about your internship.
I have an internship next fall working in an assisted living home with the memory- care unit. I have shadowed numerous PAs, and I have learned about their lifestyle, what settings they can work (in such as clinic or surgery), and I also gained some medical knowledge.
You’re a student-athlete. What’s that experience been like?
I am appreciative of the network I have built through academics and athletics that will continue to be helpful for me to lean on. I am glad I was able to expand upon my leadership skills through the university’s soccer team and various organizations. I believe the qualities of teamwork, dedication and hard work will carry me into the next chapter of my life.
“I actually found my dream career through this major. It was in Introduction to Health Science class that a physician assistant (PA) came to speak to us and I instantly fell in love with the role she was describing. I will start in the PA program at UMKC next year after my internship.”
Who do you admire most at UMKC?
I admire Amelia Howard. Her dedication to helping student-athletes is the kind of enthusiasm I want to have when I enter the workforce. In the four years I’ve been here, I don’t think I have ever seen her frustrated. She always has a cheerful tone to her voice even when the situation at hand is not pleasant. I have been able to work under her through organizations including Student Athletic Leadership Council, Student Athlete Advisory Committee and as a mental health advocate on top of her being my athletic advisor. She always has her office door open — unless she is in a meeting — and she will drop whatever she is doing to listen and help you with whatever you need. From school or to venting about life, I see her has a lifelong friend and mentor. I have been so blessed to have her in my life throughout the good, the bad and the ugly of being a student-athlete in college.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?
It’s not the end of the world if you do bad on the first test. Tara Allen, anatomy and physiology professor, said that. You can learn from the experience and still do well in the class.