Glen Oaks and Centreville High School graduate Megumi Bower recently opened her mail from Baker Tower, her residence hall at Cornell University, to receive some really exciting news. Based on her academic achievements and standing, she had been accepted into the Cornell University Honor Society.
“Accepting this distinction connects you with like-minded high achievers from Cornell University and across the nation, both in person and through our society’s web portal,” was the message on the congratulatory letter.
This honor really shouldn’t have been a surprise, as Bower was one who graduated from Glen Oaks Community College in 2014 with an Associate of General Studies degree, days prior to graduating with her classmates at Centreville High School.
“Megumi was very serious about her studies in high school,” said Mike Borkholder, Centreville High School instructor of biology and chemistry. “Her efforts were consistent and always thorough. I especially enjoyed when she brought in various spiders and other arthropods to identify and study on her own time. Her successes in the Science Olympiad helped her team move up in the rankings.”
Bower is studying veterinary science, a career she has had her heart set on ever since she was in kindergarten, when she accompanied her parents on trips to the veterinary for checkups and shots for the family dog or the rabbits.
Off and on throughout high school, Bower had the opportunity to work with Dr. Suzanne Lee of Lake Area Veterinary Clinic in Sturgis, Michigan. “Dr. Lee has been very kind and has allowed Megumi to work each time she is home during breaks from Cornell,” said Hiroko Bower, Bower’s mother. “The staff graciously welcomed Megumi into their close-knit clinic. Dr. Lee has been a great mentor for Megumi, letting her observe some of the surgical procedures where she has learned a great deal. Megumi has greatly appreciative this opportunity and holds high respect for Dr. Lee.”
At Glen Oaks, Ben Fries was Megumi’s advisor. “Megumi is an amazing student and I was truly honored to be her advisor,” said Fries. “She excelled in every academic endeavor and her passion for academics is unrivaled. She was an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Glen Oaks while attaining her high school diploma. I am proud to have been a small part of her success and wish her the best in all of her future endeavors. She truly makes me proud to be a Viking.”
“I feel like the Cornell community is a great fit for me,” said Bower. “Everyone was very welcoming from the start so I’ve felt right at home. However, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to a school like this if weren’t for God. His strength helped me get here and I am very grateful. He wanted me at Cornell for a reason, and I work hard every day and look forward to what he has planned for me.”
Bower is busy at Cornell. In addition to her studies, she joined the Pre-Vet Society as an undergraduate (most of the members are graduate students), and she recently spent time in Japan as part a Cornell University Study Tour Group traveling with students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“The education Megumi achieved through dual enrollment at Glen Oaks and Centreville High School allowed her to excel even faster and the financial savings has helped make her experience at Cornell more affordable,” said Hiroko Bower.