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Rebecca Miller

Wartburg College 2020 graduate Rebecca Miller received the Dr. George and Emma J. Torrison Scholarship to pursue her medical degree.

Wartburg College alumna Rebecca Miller has been awarded a Dr. George and Emma J. Torrison Scholarship for students pursuing medical careers.

Miller, who graduated in 2020 with a degree in biology and biochemistry, is now attending the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. The scholarship endowment is managed by the Foundation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and recipients must be part of an ELCA congregation to be eligible for the award.

As a child, Miller knew she wanted to be a doctor so she could help people like her younger brother, William, now a junior at Wartburg.

“He was born with a congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries. His arteries were flipped around to where he wasn’t getting oxygen in his blood. I’m very close with him, and I’ve gone to the hospital and made relationships with all of his health care team. I think that has greatly influenced my passion for wanting to do something similar. They have given so much to help me and my family that I want to do that for other people,” said Miller.

She plans to specialize in family medicine or obstetrics and gynecology, setting up a practice in a small Midwest community. She will get some help in that area as a student in the CCOM Rural Iowa Scholars Program (CRISP), which “ensures participants gain the breadth and depth of experience and knowledge to maximize the likelihood of a successful career in rural medicine,” according to the program’s website.

In nominating Miller, Wartburg President Darrel Colson praised her commitment to her calling in medicine and her role as a leader on campus.

“As a Wartburg Regents Scholar, Rebecca has pursued a rigorous academic path in service to her vocation and professional passions. In addition to her academic excellence and experimental research on ovarian cancer and mitochondrial dysfunction, Rebecca has demonstrated campus leadership, responsibility and mentorship as an instructional assistant and supplemental instructor in two scientific disciplines,” Colson wrote. “She has sought out pre-professional experiences since high school, shadowing a range of physicians working with varied populations, volunteering with hospice patients and administering care and services to older clients as a CNA.”