Countdown to Commencement: Josh Olewiler

As the campus community prepares for commencement May 11-12, the Office of Marketing & Communication Services is featuring a series of articles about the Class of 2013 as they prepare to become Heidelberg graduates and alumni. We hope you enjoy the “Countdown to Commencement.


May 7, 2013

Josh OlwilerDuring his first semester at Heidelberg, Josh Olewiler asked an upper classmen how to get the most out of college. He was answered, “Throw yourself into it.” So that’s what he did.

When Josh was searching for colleges, he looked for a strong science program. Heidelberg’s cadaver lab stood out from the crowd. “There weren’t many other schools where I would have the opportunity to perform dissection on a cadaver,” said Josh. “I knew it would be helpful for graduate school.”

Heidelberg‘s curriculum was another draw for Josh. “I have a lot of hobbies and varied interests,” he said. “I knew Heidelberg’s liberal arts mindset would allow me to become well-rounded in the things I wanted to be.”

Josh was involved with the Honors program, Rho Eta Delta, Tri Beta biology honorary, theatre productions, German club and Chemistry club. A defining moment for Josh was traveling with the Chemistry Club to Cleveland to attend a Doctors Without Borders lecture. “I knew then that I wanted to be a doctor.”

Traveling was influential for Josh throughout his time at Heidelberg. He went on a class trip to Belize his freshman year and to Florida his junior year. These trips not only exposed him to different cultures and environments, but also inspired his senior research project where he made an antibiotic out of the leaves from a tree in Rock Creek. “It showed me we have amazing diversity in our world,” Josh said. “It increased my appreciation for life in general.”

This appreciation for life moved him to begin volunteering at Tiffin Mercy Hospital, helping nurses and visiting with patients. The experience was both a practical and an emotional one. “I like seeing how the hospital worked,” he said. “People aren’t’ just their problems. There is so much more going on.” Josh spent a lot of time visiting with elderly patients and his favorite days were when they got to go home.

Josh is happy with his overall experience. “I feel very prepared for my career,” he said. The critical thinking skills Josh developed through his coursework has helped him think like a physician. Even more, his varied experiences make him relatable to patients. “I can relate to just about anyone on any subject,” he said. “It will help me be a better doctor.” Josh has been invited for interviews with both Ohio University and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Josh really did throw himself into his college experience at Heidelberg. And now he gets to reap the rewards. “I’ve had a wonderful time here.”

Are you a graduate or do you know a graduate who is doing something unique or exciting after graduation? Share the story with us!