Health Professions Advising Office (HPAO)
University of Mississippi

Ashton Swader

photo of Ashton SwaderPre-medical student from Belmont, MS


Why did you decide to pursue this health profession?  I developed my interest in medicine at a young age when I was able to stay in the on-call room at the hospital with my aunt when she was working in surgery. This early exposure really opened my eyes to how much dedication it took to not only the patients but also the profession. This passion only grew as I began to get older and shadow more physicians in a variety of fields 

What is your major and why did you choose it?  I am a BA in Biochemistry major and I choose my major because I have always really enjoyed learning about the influence that chemistry has on the body, and this major really brought me the best of the two worlds of chemistry and biology. I chose B.A. over B.S. because it allowed me to have much more freedom in terms of the classes that I can choose from and the minors that I can incorporate (for me, Society and Health and Biology are my chosen minors). 

How has the HPAO helped you?  The HPAO has helped me from the moment I was able to contact them. Kelli was so encouraging when I first met with her, and it was amazing to have a group of people who truly cared about your success on a campus where I did not know anyone. I have been able to access so many resources and opportunities through the HPAO that I would have never even known about otherwise. 

What is your most memorable experience working with the HPAO?  My most memorable experience with the HPAO would have to be when I went during my first semester of sophomore year and sat down with Kelli to discuss how overwhelmed I was. I think that was a defining moment in my success because it showed me that even when I did not necessarily believe in myself, there was always someone who was supporting me. 

What are your career goals?  My ultimate career goals are to attend medical school and pursue a career in Anesthesiology 

What is your favorite meal in Oxford?  My favorite meal in Oxford is definitely anything from Volta. 

What are you happiest doing when not working or studying?  When I am not working or studying, my favorite place to be is at home with my three dogs.