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Cory Tiller

Before hearing about Dominican, Cory Tiller originally planned to attend the University of Oregon, an hour’s drive away from his hometown yet a huge jump in terms of student enrollment, from about 240 in Scio High School to about 24,000 in Eugene.

“I was kind of ready for that. Well, at least in my head I was,” Cory says, smiling.

Then Cory received a postcard from Dominican that changed his plans, if not his perspective. He was intrigued by what Dominican had to offer in the way of its high rate for acceptance into graduate school, its strong financial aid package, and its reputation for providing engaged learning opportunities.

With those advantages, Cory became a Dean’s List student in chemistry at Dominican, presented research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, earned a Lillian L.Y. Wang Yin, Ph.D. Scholarship, and is applying for medical school to be an orthopedic surgeon after being inspired during a year-long shadowing assignment in the Dominican/Kaiser Permanente Scholars and Mentors Program.

“The thing that makes my experience at Dominican stand out is that the opportunities I received here are stronger and more plentiful than you would get at other institutions,” Cory says. “Here, I was able to get into internships and undergraduate research, which helps me stand out.”

Cory credits Dr. Maggie Louie, director of the chemistry program, for mentoring him.

There is mutual respect from Dr. Louie. She says he is hard-working, humble, honest, dependable and trustworthy. Cory was one of the charter members and officers of the Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor society and helped initiate the Psi Beta chapter at Dominican. He was an “Outstanding Student in Chemistry” award-winner, and he tutors chemistry on a volunteer basis.

“Cory is an amazing student and will be very successful at whatever he pursues,” Dr. Louie says. “He has always worked part-time and still managed to maintain his high academic achievements.”

A turning point in Cory’s time at Dominican happened while shadowing at Silverton Hospital in Oregon. Initially, Cory entered Dominican as biology major and thought someday he might be a veterinarian or a dentist. But, after Cory observed first-hand an orthopedic surgeon fixing a cracked elbow “like it was a fence,” he longed for a new field.

“It seemed so natural to me as far as how I have been taught to think,” he says. “I kind of think of the orthopedics as the carpenters of the medical field.”

Cory’s career at Dominican culminated with his receiving a Summa Cum Laude medal at the Honors Ceremony in April. He was on stage at Angelico Hall, yet it was if he stepped up to the top step of a podium. “It felt like I was getting a gold medal in the Olympics,” he says.

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