Bio Science graduate chooses UC Davis medical school

When Connor Haysbert ’14 received his admissions offer from the College of Medicine at the University of California Davis, he immediately contacted his former mentor, Dr. Maggie Louie, to share the wonderful news. Louie was not surprised to hear from him. This was his seventh medical school acceptance, and Connor had kept her up-to-date as the acceptances started to roll in.

Connor Haysbert.jpegHowever, it’s possible Connor would not be in this position if not for the support and encouragement of Louie, associate professor of biochemistry in the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Connor, a standout high school basketball player, selected Dominican for two reasons: The opportunity to play NCAA Division II basketball and the desire to earn a degree that would enable him to pursue his goal of becoming a doctor.

Midway through his freshman year, he was struggling to find a balance between athletics and the academic requirements of Dominican’s science program in the School of Health and Natural Sciences.

“At one point I thought it would be best if I switched majors,” he recalls. “But when she heard my plan, Dr. Louie pulled me aside and told me that she was confident that I could do the work and that I should stick with it.”

Louie recalls her conversation with Connor. “He was such a hard worker,” she says. “He was determined to learn, and I knew that he would be a successful science student. He just needed to figure out his rhythm.”

Louie was correct, and by the end of his freshman year Connor had figured out the rhythm on the court and in the classroom.

“This is one reason I love Dominican so much, because that would not have happened at a larger school. Someone would have just signed my transfer sheet and sent me on my way,” he says.

At Dominican, Connor was successful on the court and in the classroom. He was tri-captain of a Penguins team that progressed from a four-win season his freshman year to winning 22 games and playing in the Pacific West Conference Championship game his senior year. Connor was a member of Tri-Beta and Gamma Sigma Epsilon honor societies and was a recipient of a Lillian Wang Yin Scholarship. He participated in research dealing with stem cell differentiation, an experience that, he says, “allowed me to develop research lab skills that I hope to use in clinical research as a doctor.”

Through Dominican’s partnership in the Kaiser Permanente Scholars/Mentors Program, Connor shadowed doctors in different specialties such as emergency medicine and anesthesia. He also volunteered at Marin General Hospital and served as an intern at Mill Valley Sports Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy.

He was named Outstanding Student of the Year at Commencement, 2014.

“With the small class sizes at Dominican, I was fortunate enough to get one-on-one help from professors and have even been able to receive personal mentorship from several professors,” Connor says. “This teacher-student dynamic that I believe is uniquely Dominican is extremely valuable to the quality education our school provides.”