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January 11, 2021

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Latest edition of the school's career speaker series featured a 2012 graduate who's pursuing a life in medicine with the help of the U.S. Army.

On Friday, Jan. 8, Kaleigh Mullen, a 2012 Notre Dame alum, participated in the new year's first alumni career speaker event. She spoke via Zoom to upper school students interested in her budding career in medicine and the military. 

Mullen, who graduated from Hope College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, currently is a fourth-year medical student at Kansas City University. She's there due in part to an Army Health Professions Scholarship Program, which offers four years of medical school tuition and living expenses.

Fourth-generation Army

"The Health Professions Scholarship Program includes med school tuition, a bimonthly living stipend, and other medical school associated costs in return for years of service as a military physician," she said Friday after her session with the students. "The scholarship can be for three or four years of school and is offered through the Army, Navy and Air Force. I chose the Army for many reasons, but especially because I am fourth-generation Army; my father, grandfather and great-grandfather all served in the Army." 

As a medical student, Kaleigh Mullen NDP'12 spent time at a clinical rotation site in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Mullen's not currently active duty but she's part of the International Ready Reserves, a category of the Ready Reserve of the Reserve Component of the Armed Forces of the United States comprised of former active duty or reserve military personnel. 

She said that for most of the year, she functions as any other medical student—for example, no monthly drills like in the reserves—but for 45 days of the year, she completes an active-duty training assignment, which could include training courses, such as Basic Officer Leadership Course, and clinical rotations at military treatment facilities. 

Swimming, Spanish and time-management skills

Mullen commissioned as a second lieutenant at the beginning of her first year of medical school and when she graduates in May, she'll be promoted to captain. She also said that last week she had her "residency match day" and was fortunate enough to get her first choice, family medicine at Ft. Benning, Ga.

"That means I will complete a three-year Army family medicine residency at Ft. Benning, and then, for the next four-plus years, I will serve as a family-medicine physician."

Mullen reflected on her time at NDP, which included four years in the Irish swim program.

"I had an incredible experience swimming at NDP," she said. "We had an awesome group of girls at the time as well as two great coaches, both of whom built a strong sense of camaraderie on the team."

High school swimming at Notre Dame and the school's academic program, she added, were great stepping stones to prepare her to be a collegiate athlete at Hope.

"Since I took a lot of AP courses, I entered college with 28 extra credits, which gave me a huge leg up," said Mullen who was one of 17 in NDP's valedictory court in 2012. "The workload at Notre Dame also was a large contributing factor to my success in college. As a swimmer and doing pre-med coursework at Hope seemed much more feasible because of the time-management skills I acquired at NDP."

Mullen also found a passion for the Spanish language while taking classes in high school with the help of now-retired teacher Ellen Tessada. 

"Sra. Tessada's love of the language and culture inspired me to pursue Spanish in college," Mullen said. "I minored in Spanish at Hope, studied abroad in Spain, and walked the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage across Spain, largely because of Sra. Tessada's influence. This also is carrying over into my career in medicine, as I now have the skills to speak to patients in Spanish."

Mullen also participated in the U.S. Army's Basic Officer Leadership Course.

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org

Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.

About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.

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