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Nathan Steiner ’14

I wanted to attend a smaller university that was relatively close to home, and it wasn’t until I visited Mount Union when I realized it was the perfect fit for me.

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Current Student Spotlight:
Nathan Steiner ’14

Hometown:Garrettsville, OH


Future physician assistant

Member of Phi Kappa Tau, Marching Band, Tri Beta Biological Honor Society, Order of Omega and Men’s Chorus


Perfect Fit
I wanted to attend a smaller university that was relatively close to home, and it wasn’t until I visited Mount Union when I realized it was the perfect fit for me. The campus is beautiful, I had a sense of belonging and the professors I met were friendly and very helpful.

One Big Family
I love being able to recognize so many faces wherever I go on campus. Being a student at Mount Union is like being a part of one big family. People are very supportive of one another.

I knew I wanted to go into the medical field and I thought biology was the most interesting science. I love learning how the human body works and how bacteria and other microorganisms can interact with it. I also knew I could get all of the prerequisite classes I needed for physician assistant school by majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry and psychology,

Unforgettable Experience
My fraternity's philanthropy, Flying Horse Farms, is a camp for terminally ill children who cannot attend normal recreational camps. I had the opportunity to spend several weeks there over the past few years as a camp counselor. These camps are built to accommodate every child with any type of handicap so everyone can have equal amounts of fun. I got to see children act like kids and not like the patients you typically would see in a hospital. This camp is a place where, as they say at Flying Horse, “being sick takes a backseat to being a kid.” This was an experience I will never forget and has impacted my life in so many ways. After volunteering at Flying Horse Farms, I quickly realized that I wanted to work in a pediatric hospital helping children. 

Favorite Classes
My favorite classes would have to be Organic Chemistry I and II. I spent so much time studying for organic chemistry that it was kind of hard not to grow fond of it. It was kind of like learning a different language. Learning how different chemicals interact using reaction mechanisms interested me.

View of Campus
If I could take someone who was visiting Mount Union to one place on campus, I would pick the North Reading Room in the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center. Even though I don’t spend a considerable amount of time there, the view is absolutely amazing. From there, you can see the true beauty of campus.

Favorite Professors
Dr. Robert Woodward, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Kim Risley, associate professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biology, truly have made an impact on my life and have helped prepare me for my future career. In fact, Dr. Risley is the one who introduced me to internship opportunities, which landed me a research internship at Akron Children’s Hospital last summer. She’s helped shape me into a professional adult and helped me tremendously with applying to physician assistant school. Dr. Woodward’s friendly personality always made it easy to approach him with just about any question whether it be about class, grad school or just about life in general. Both Dr. Risley and Dr. Woodward are phenomenal professors who have taught me many skills including critical thinking and professionalism.

Research Internship
I completed a 10-week research scholarship program at Akron Children's Hospital last summer. During my time at the hospital, I spent around 20 hours a week helping with a research project entitled The Safety and Efficacy of Postoperative Hydromorphone Patient Controlled Analgesia and Patient Controlled Analgesia by Proxy.  At the end of the 10 weeks, I presented this research to the hospital, and my mentors informed me that they plan to publish this research in the future. It was much more than a research internship – I got the chance to shadow many physician assistants throughout the hospital, who I formed close relationships with. I also made new friends with other student interns who are also planning a future in medicine. I am so appreciative that I was given this opportunity to work for Akron Children's Hospital and I hope to someday pursue a career there. 

Next Steps
I was recently accepted to Mount Union’s Physician Assistant Studies Program and will begin this 27-month program in May. Following graduation, I want to work as a physician assistant in a pediatric hospital such as Akron Children’s Hospital.

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