Seventeen-Year-Old Working on Associate's Degree, Aims for Med School | Families
Aspiring surgeon Zac Cooper is getting a head start as a participant of Middle Georgia State’s Georgia Academy of Aviation, Mathematics, Engineering and Science (G.A.M.E.S.). G.A.M.E.S. students are able to finish high school and work on their associate’s degrees at the same time.
Full Name: Zachary Shane Cooper.
Residence: “I live on campus in Cochran”.
High School: West Laurens High School where he participated in the Marching, Concert, and Jazz Band; Beta Club; Drama Club, Anchor Club, and the G.A.M.E.S. program.
Family: Mother: Cynthia Cooper; Father: Jeffery Cooper; Sister: Kristan Cooper.
Current Employment: Full-time student, tour guide, G.A.M.E.S. ambassador and Summer Orientation Leader.
Degree Objective: “I am working on my associate of science with a major in biology/pre-medicine at Middle Georgia State as part of the G.A.M.E.S. program. I plan to go to medical school after I obtain my bachelor’s degree in biology.”
Class Rank: Sophomore.
Primary Campus: Cochran.
Activities: “I am the President of the MGSC Cochran Campus Science Club and a member of the concert and jazz ensembles playing the baritone saxophone.”
Career Goals: “I hope to obtain my medical doctorate and practice orthopedic surgery. I have had experiences all through my childhood having broken bones. Whenever I went to my orthopedic surgeon’s office, he was always very happy to be there and always seemed to care very much about how I was doing. I want to be in a position to provide the same care for my patients as I experienced from my doctors and also be able to work in a field that fascinates me.”
He chose Middle Georgia State College because … “It provided the opportunity for me to attend the Georgia Academy of Aviation, Mathematics, Engineering and Science, or the G.A.M.E.S. program. The classes that I was taking in high school provided little to no challenge for me, but the G.A.M.E.S. program offered me the chance to excel and actually be challenged by my classes and also to give me a head start on my academic career. I regard this as the best decision I have made so far in my academic career.”
The one thing that surprised him about Middle Georgia State was … “How at home I feel. I’m always able to be with my friends, the food is great and the campus is beautiful. I also feel very free on campus. I like walking between classes and being able to go outside, enjoy the fresh breeze in the air and be with nature. The free and relaxed feeling of the Cochran Campus gives a very welcoming feeling, and I like it.”
His favorite professor is … “Dr. Norman Clark, the director of bands at MGSC. Dr. Clark is very personable and gets very connected with all of his students. He really loves what he does, and he inspires all of his students to love what they do.”
His favorite place to study is … “Welch Hall on the Cochran Campus. Welch is a study and relaxation hall available exclusively to G.A.M.E.S. students. I always enjoy studying in Welch because I can always find somebody that is willing to offer help on any subject, and it’s also a very calm environment.”
One thing people don’t know about him is … “I’ve been a member of the Boy Scouts of America since the first grade. I have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank and honor in the BSA. I pride myself on this achievement because it didn’t come easily. It required several hundred hours doing volunteer work, training and other involvement in my community.”
His friends make fun of him because … “I can always come up with a random bit of trivia. They also make fun of me for my habit of thinking too deeply about every little thing that happens around me.”
The one person he’d most like to meet is … “I can’t think of one person that I’d like to meet more than anyone else; however I think it would be very interesting to have a meeting with Albert Einstein, Friedrich Nietzsche, Adolf Sax, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Buddha, Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Charles Darwin, Nikola Tesla and Bob Marley.”
Five years from now he sees himself … “Working hard to get through medical school. I don’t feel like my life will necessarily be dreary because of the hard work, but rather I think that I will feel extraordinarily lucky to be where I will be at that point and thankful that I made the decisions that I will have made to get to there.”