Earlham College | A national liberal arts college in the Midwest
COVID-19 news, plans and updates | READ MORE
Skip to Content

Exploring Beyond Her Major

Meredith Faller ’11 felt relieved as a prospective first-year student visiting campus.  Although the Indianapolis native knew that she wanted to pursue science-related coursework, she was also eager to explore other areas. When she witnessed students taking diverse classes such as dance, statistics, metalworking, and neuroscience, she was sold. “A liberal arts education would give me the freedom to choose my own academic adventures and wouldn’t pigeonhole me into a Pre-Med track.” She appreciated that Earlham encourages students to invest in designing their own education.

Faller took that to heart, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a major in neuroscience and a minor in Spanish. She is a second-year MD/MPH student at Indiana University School of Medicine and Fairbanks School of Public Health.

Earlham taught her to think critically and inspired her to care. Influential faculty and course experiences shaped her college career and pointed her towards her current graduate work, including the child case study from Vince Punzo’s Human Development class. “Over a semester, we attended playdates, kindergarten classes, family dinners, and other activities with our child. Watching developmental concepts play out in real life helped me empathize with children and their perception of the world.” Faller uses skills learned in Punzo’s class when she works with pediatric patients, helping to put the children at ease.

Chris Swafford (Spanish) taught Faller both in and out of the classroom. Faller has found Swafford’s instruction of Spanish to be invaluable knowledge as she works in the emergency room. But she also treasures trekking over 600 miles with Swafford on the Camino de Santiago, a time of immense personal growth.

And of course given her major, “I’ve got to give a shout-out to the BioChem faculty!  What a cohesive group of fantastic people!  No one makes science as cool as they do!”

Faller felt prepared for medical school because of the high expectations set by faculty.  “Earlham professors routinely gave us responsibilities most colleges don’t entrust to their students,” citing examples such as being given keys to a building, closed-note take-home exams, and positions on faculty interview committees. Such responsibilities were given in part so that students would learn and grow, and she appreciates the faculty’s faith and trust.

After completion of her MD/MPH, she plans to care, teach and research in medically-vulnerable populations. Her dream is to develop a partnership between an American medical school and a healthcare center in South/Central America that facilitates bilingual student learning and provides low-cost health services to community members. And one day, she may return to the liberal arts classroom to inspire health-minded students to follow their dreams, as she has.

Meredith Faller

Meredith Faller 2011, Student in MD/Master of Public Health program at Indiana University

B.A., Earlham College

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Major at Earlham: Neuroscience

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
47374-4095
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission



NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS

Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.