Student Spotlight: Stormy Stan

Stormy Stan

While working as a special agent in counterintelligence for the U.S. Air Force (USAF), Stormy Stan changed course to make a greater impact on people’s lives. She decided to pursue medicine and enrolled in the School of Medicine’s PRIME (Post-baccalaureate Readiness Instruction for bioMedical Education) program.

“My life is completely different than it was five years ago,” Stan said. “For me, medicine is the highest calling. It’s where I want to spend my energy, and I am so grateful to be on this path.”

Stan graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs with a bachelor’s degree in political science and foreign area studies and a minor in Chinese. During that time, she spent summers studying abroad in Shanghai, Beijing and Vietnam. 

As a federally credentialed agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Stan worked on global criminal cases and counterintelligence services linked to the USAF. She enjoyed searching for information and putting the pieces of a case together, but many of the investigations were heart-rending. She wanted more face-to-face interaction with people and couldn’t see herself working there for the next 30 years. 

When she decided upon medicine as a career, she knew she had to catch up to students who had studied pre-medical courses. That’s when she found the university’s PRIME program which offered a customized course schedule, a dedicated advisor and help preparing for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test.)

“I had been out of school for five years with a completely different skill set,” she said. “The PRIME program is flexible and adapts to each person’s course needs. There are 20 students this year, some are changing careers like me and others are enhancing their pre-med studies. When I meet with my advisor, Anthony Saar, we often start our sessions with a brief meditation to help me clear my head. He understands the stress we’re under and cares about our wellbeing.”

Originally from Alabama, Stan and her husband live near campus with Fenrir and Freya, their two Siberian Huskies who are littermates. 

Stormy Stan, husband and Huskies

“My husband, Craig, is from Ohio and I really love Cleveland. University Circle is great and we love the restaurants in Little Italy,” Stan said. There are so many things to do and we enjoy taking Fenrir and Freya, our dogs, for hikes in the surrounding parks. They especially like the snow!” 

What’s next for Stan? 

“Medical school, of course,” she answered. “I have two more courses to complete this fall and after that, I would love to be accepted to the School of Medicine. I know I’ll change my mind many times about a specialty, but right now, I’m leaning toward becoming an OB/GYN. I like working with women and during my time as an investigator, I experienced many who were going through some of the worst days of their lives. Now, I’d like to help prepare women for one of their best days.”