James Sharer: Lacrosse Coach

Posted: September 1, 2014 in Education, Society
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James Sharer is a student at Pennsylvania State University, where he is majoring in Biology and planning on becoming a doctor.

He graduated from Downingtown West High School in the spring of 2012, and right away began gearing up for college life. But he also had to work that summer. As with the summer of 2011, James Sharer spent the summer of 2012 working as a coach, leading a team of young lacrosse players and teaching them the finer points of the game.

“I was involved in designing drills and games for them to play,” James Sharer recalls. “I had to take a leadership role so that the children would listen to me and do what I asked them to.”

Taking a leadership role with kids on their summer break can sometimes be a tall order, as James Sharer learned. He quickly discovered that there can never be too many parents around at a team practice. He learned that parents make great assistant coaches, able to help him run drills and make sure the young athletes stayed hydrated on those hot summer afternoons.

James Sharer also learned that a well-organized practice session worked to his advantage. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, the saying goes, and James Sharer figured out that keeping the kids busy every single minute helped them stay focused on improving their games.

Finally, James Sharer always kept in mind that youth lacrosse ­ – or any youth sport, for that matter – wasn’t about winning so much as it was about teaching kids the fundamentals of a game, and making sure they had some fun along the way. So he always tried to have all the kids on the team involved, during practices and games alike.

James Sharer is a student at Pennsylvania State University, where he is a Biology major with a Vertebrate Physiology Option. He is planning on becoming a doctor.

As James Sharer knows, there are many different kinds of doctors, and many reasons why people decide to go into medicine. Some people become doctors because they think they will make a lot of money that way, and in some cases medicine can indeed be a very lucrative field. But others are motivated by more selfless concerns for others, and this is the category that James Sharer falls into.

“I want to earn my doctorate and pursue a career in medicine so that I can dedicate my life to helping those in need,” he says.

It takes a lot of hard work to become a doctor, and James Sharer knows what he is getting himself into as he prepares for his career. He is looking at four years of medical school once he gets his undergraduate degree, and then there is anywhere from three to seven years of residency after that.

Already, James Sharer has begun to prepare himself for a career in medicine. He is a member of the Biology Club at Penn State, and more importantly has been a research intern working with the director of the Smell and Taste Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “As a research intern, I managed databases using statistical software including SYSTAT and SPSS,” James Sharer recalls.” I also worked with patients administering various olfactory tests. I am currently working on a research paper pertaining to the effect of smoking on Parkinson’s disease and its various symptoms.”

James Sharer expects to graduate in 2016, and then go on to medical school.

James Sharer is enrolled at Pennsylvania State University, where he is majoring in biology. He expects to graduate by 2016, and go on to medical school.

The Penn State University system boasts twenty-four campuses across Pennsylvania, and James Sharer is just one of its approximately one hundred thousand students. There are some 17,000 faculty and staff members serving those students, and more than half a million active Penn State Alumni.

“We teach students that the real measure of success is what you do to improve the lives of others,” the school declares on its website, and in this, James Sharer and Penn State are a perfect fit. “I want to earn my doctorate and pursue a career in medicine so that I can dedicate my life to helping those in need,” James Sharer says.

The Biology curriculum at Penn State is geared toward preparing students like James Sharer for professions that require competence in biological science, or for gaining an understanding of the world of living things. Penn State biology students are also encouraged to select options to further their understanding of the field, and James Sharer has selected Vertebrate Physiology as his, which means he focuses on animal physiology and anatomy.

James Sharer has also been a research intern at the University of Pennsylvania hospital, where he had many duties. “As a research intern, I spent the majority of my time writing a scientific paper pertaining to Parkinson’s disease and its symptoms,” he recalls. “I also worked with patients from the clinic, administering various olfactory and gustatory tests.”

James Sharer is well on his way to a stellar college experience. He is a pre-med student at Pennsylvania State University, where he has made the Dean’s List three times and kept up a 3.74 grade point average. He expects to graduate by 2016 and go on to medical school.

James Sharer has always been an excellent student. At Downingtown West High School, he graduated with a 3.66 grade point average and was selected for membership in the National Honor Society. He was an avid swimmer starting when he was in the sixth grade, and in high school was on the varsity swimming and diving team for each of his four years there.

As a member of the swim team, James Sharer had to do a lot of laps. There was simply no way around that, and James Sharer learned that swimming the length of the pool over and over was the best way to build up his strength, speed, and endurance.

The Downingtown West High School swim team worked hard to become the best swimming and diving teams possible, and it was a valuable experience for James Sharer. Their goals, he recalls, also included developing into the most physically fit swim and dive team possible through a commitment to hard work; to teach a sportsmanlike, winning attitude that will filter through the entire team, and even the school; to learn to compete for victory and learn what it means to be the best, and to take pride in their hard work; and to teach self-confidence and self-respect that will stay with team members throughout their lives.

James Sharer: Camp Counselor

Posted: August 2, 2014 in Education, Society
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James Sharer is a pre-med student studying Biology at Pennsylvania State University. He is a committed student who has mapped out some of his anticipated career trajectory: he expects to graduate from Penn State by 2016 and go on to medical school. He plans to begin applying to medical school in the summer of 2015. He wants to become a doctor, James Sharer says, “so that I can dedicate my life to helping those in need.”

James Sharer has always been interested in helping out those who need it. He has been a YMCA lifeguard, and the coach of a youth lacrosse team. And during the summer of 2013, he was a camp counselor at the Atlantic Coast Athletic Club in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

“As a camp counselor, it was my duty to provide a safe and fun atmosphere for the campers,” James Sharer says. “It was important to be a good role model and leader so the campers had someone to look up to. I also had to interact with the campers’ parents, and deal with any issues that arose in a professional manner.”

James Sharer also learned the importance of checking in with his campers every single day, making it a point to sit next to different campers during mealtimes, or doing individual activities with campers during rest hours. There was always so much going on at camp that it was hard to keep up with things.

With the number of events and interactions in a typical camp day, more goes on than any one person can possibly stay on top of. Even counselors with a small group of eight to twelve kids have everything they can do to keep up with things. Something as simple as asking each camper, “How was your day?” gave James Sharer valuable insight to how the kids were doing at camp.

James Sharer is a student at Pennsylvania State University, where he is majoring in Biology and planning to go on to medical school. To date, he has kept up a 3.74 grade point average. This is an extension of his outstanding high school career, where he had a 3.66 grade point average and became a member of the National Honor Society.

The importance of a student’s grade point average (GPA) may differ depending on their chosen career, and there is no doubt that an excellent GPA will serve James Sharer well when he begins applying to medical schools. The general consensus, however, is that work experience is more important than grades. But a good GPA doesn’t hurt one’s chances of landing a job in a competitive labor market.

Some job counselors actually advise job seekers to leave their GPA off of their résumé, unless it has a direct bearing on career choice, as in the case of James Sharer. Others say it is a perfectly legitimate thing to include, especially for younger job seekers without a lot of experience, or who may just be entering the job market. If nothing else, they say, a good grade point average demonstrates that a job candidate is a hard worker.

The Dean’s List is another index of performance, and James Sharer has been named to the Dean’s List at Penn State on three occasions. Nearly every school has a Dean’s List: that roster of students who have performed particularly well during the previous semester or school year. It is a prestigious honor because, like a high GPA, it demonstrates a commitment to academic excellence and the ability to rise to the workload, however heavy it might be.

James Sharer has always been an excellent student. As a Biology major at Pennsylvania State University, he has maintained a 3.74 grade point average and made the Dean’s list on three occasions. And when he was a student at Downingtown West High School in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, he earned a 3.66 grade point average and was a member of the National Honor Society.

The National Honor Society is the most prestigious organization in the United States for recognizing outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS singles out those students who have demonstrated excellence in the scholarship, leadership, service, and character. These are the characteristics that have been associated with membership in the National Honor Society since its beginning in 1921.

Membership in the National Honor Society is not something that comes easily. To become a member, students like James Sharer must be selected as a candidate by their local chapter’s faculty council. Students who meet the chapter’s cumulative GPA requirement are then considered for membership on the basis of service, leadership and character. Candidates are sometimes asked to complete a candidate form that has been created and distributed by their local chapter.

Membership in NHS is determined by a majority vote of the faculty council, following an evaluation of candidates’ qualifications for membership.

Membership in the National Honor Society not only recognizes students like James Sharer for their accomplishments. It challenges them to develop into the best citizens they can be, through active involvement in school activities and community service.