The pages of Tatum Nielsen's life read like an adventurer's tale—with international travel, overseas living, big-mountain skiing, surfing and van-build entrepreneurship all part of the narrative. In fact, those pages actually exist: He's documented much of it in a memoir.
But a desire to turn his enthusiasm for experiential learning and continual discovery into something more impactful—something that helps others—brought Nielsen to COCC. He's focusing on biochemistry and molecular biology as he earns his Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree. Nielsen's goal is to work in the medical field.
"I have always wanted a career where I could serve others and make a difference in my community," he shares. "I am extremely excited to continue to learn each day and to further the field of medicine through research and clinical practice."
Nielsen's academic diligence, which includes a 4.0 GPA and a surgical intern post that he helped create with St. Charles Health System, earned him a COCC Foundation scholarship and a place on the 2021 All-Oregon Academic Team. He plans to transfer to OSU-Cascades upon graduation.
"COCC has afforded me an incredible education," he says. "I could not be happier with the high standards each of my professors have set for their courses. They've fostered in me not only a great love for learning, but also the courage to take risks and pursue my dreams to the fullest extent."