Dylan Berens: Sharing Christ's Love Through ScienceBy Jordan Grooters on June 19, 2019
For Cornerstone University student Dylan Berens (B.S. ’21), a pre-med major from Shelby, Mich., summer means time spent with friends and family but also time spent preparing for his future career.
A Desire to Make a Difference
As a high school senior, Dylan didn't know what he wanted to study, but he knew that he wanted to cultivate his love for science and learn more about how to spread Christ's love by helping others.
"After choosing to attend Cornerstone, God prepared my heart for a bigger adventure that I wasn't planning on: a life dedicated to serving others as a medical field professional," he shared. "I'm now more in love with my major then I ever have been, and I am so glad that I've chosen it. I'm ecstatic to one day be able to connect families to reliable, honest and caring treatments that act not only on the physical side of the patient but also assess the emotional and spiritual side that goes into an individual’s comprehensive health."
Dylan is interested in becoming a pediatric oncologist, and through his science classes at CU, he is gaining the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the medical field as well as how to care for others with compassion.
"The impact that an ailing child can have on the whole family can be devastating. I want to step into the hurt, hold a spot for Christ and let Him work through the treatment that I will administer," Dylan said.
Dylan is quick to credit CU professors Dr. Nigel Crompton, Dr. Shirley Dean, Dr. James Fryling, Charlie Wideman and other CU science faculty for expanding his knowledge and inspiring him throughout his academic journey.
"I love the science professors here at CU," said Dylan. "Anatomy & Physiology and General Biology gave me the basic knowledge on where and how the body interacts with itself. Genetics and General Chemistry expanded my knowledge on the molecular level, deepening my understanding of the human body and how one small difference can make all of the difference in someone's life."
Cornerstone's Pre-Health Club is designed for eager undergraduates to connect with different medical professionals in the Grand Rapids community. As the club's pre-med adviser, Dylan heard of an opportunity to shadow Dr. Peter Freswick (B.S. ’05). Dr. Freswick, a graduate of Cornerstone and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, works as a gastroenterologist with Spectrum Health Medical group in Grand Rapids, Mich. He began working at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in 2015.
Every Wednesday, Dylan has the opportunity to shadow Dr. Freswick as he works with patients.
"I love every moment of being on the other side of the table to witness the healing of patients both mentally and physically," said Dylan. "Dr. Freswick is not only a compassionate doctor, but he is also an amazing teacher. He is willing to walk me through things that he encounters every day and explain why patients are experiencing the symptoms that they are. He's also willing to ask me questions about the pathology and anatomy of the patient and encourages me to asses their symptoms based on my current schooling."
A hands-on learning experience like this is valuable for a student on many levels.
"This opportunity is not only bringing me great knowledge about Dr. Freswick's specialty but more importantly, how to treat patients, their parents and how to show Christ's love in every appointment and patient contact hour you have," shared Dylan. "Dr. Freswick has shown me what it looks like to be attentive to patients and their parents according to their age, their level of attention and their level of understanding. He shows me how to make a connection with your patients, ensuring that they know that as a doctor, he wants the best for them. This in turn, helps the patients feel less nervous about diagnosis, medication, treatments or even surgeries. Dr. Freswick makes his patients' lives better, and I am honored that I get to see him practice his kind of tailored medicine. It prepares and gives me a great example for my future career as a medical professional."
In addition to shadowing Dr. Freswick, Dylan is receiving academic credit this summer for his experience working as a Home Health Aide for NeuroCare Home Health in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Beyond his involvement with the Pre-Health Club, Dylan serves as a resident assistant in Quincer Hall and a teacher assistant for the Biology Department. He has also been involved in Enactus.
Equipped to Serve
At Cornerstone, students like Dylan learn how to be faithful stewards of all that God has gifted us. The Kinesiology, Science, Engineering & Mathematics Division prepares students through hands-on learning opportunities and a biblical foundation for learning. Learn how to reach your full potential with a STEM degree from Cornerstone.