Class of 2021: Volleyball standout to pursue medical school

Class of 2021: Volleyball standout to pursue medical school

Senior Libby Bochniak knew she wanted to play volleyball at the collegiate level. When it came time to start visiting colleges, she decided to take a closer look at Georgia College. 

“My family had a house on Lake Sinclair, so I’d been here a lot over the years,” she said. “I’d just never seen campus or gone into the heart of Milledgeville.”

Libby Bochniak
Libby Bochniak

After talking with the coach, meeting the players and visiting campus, she knew she’d found her home.

“The team and atmosphere that our coach created allowed us to be very supportive of each other,” she said.

 Off the volleyball court, Bochniak chose to major in biology since she’d always had a love of science.

“I feel like academics is in athletics have the same atmosphere—that same community-based kind of closeness,” she said.

“One of the big reasons I picked here was the smaller class sizes and the one-on-one time you get with your faculty—not the teaching assistant or a supplemental instructor— but the actual professor,” she said.

 In the biology department, she took classes with the department chair, collaborated with fellow students and made personal connections with each faculty member. 

“I really feel like I know all my professors and wouldn't hesitate to reach out to any of them,” said Bochniak.

 In fact, she did reach out to several of them for letters of recommendation as she made her decision to pursue medical school after graduation, but one professor really stood out as she journeyed through her undergraduate degree.  

“Dr. Christopher Burt has been instrumental in helping me decide that I wanted to go to med school,” she said.  “He helped me reach a standard that I didn't know that I could reach, and he also wrote me my letter of recommendation for medical school.”

The biology lecturer worked closely with Bochniak as she weighed her career options and guided her through the next steps for her career.  

“Libby is an exceptional student that excels in athletics and academics. Her competitive nature and incredible work ethic serves as a model for student success on Georgia College’s campus,” Burt said. “As an alumnus of Georgia College, I am proud to call Libby a Bobcat.” 

Bochniak will attend Lincoln Memorial in Tennessee to pursue a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).

“Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine is basically the same thing as an MD. You go through the same tests and the same licensing, but it's the way of medicine that’s different,” she said. “It's more focused on healing instead of treating, and it’s the philosophy behind the treatment that drew me towards it.”

Bochniak works in the Learning Center.
Bochniak works in the Learning Center.

She has a big heart to help others, as shown through her work as a tutor in the Learning Center, and the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic only solidified that she made the right choice to go into medicine.

“I’ve realized that there is a need for doctors, so this would be a very good time to go into medicine,” she said. “We need good medical professionals to help people believe in science, believe in medicine and trust their doctors.”

As she wraps up her time at Georgia College as one of the valedictorians for this graduating class with a perfect 4.0, she gives some great advice to other students. 

“Learn how to balance your time,” she said. “I think that’s the biggest advice I can offer is learning how to do that and taking responsibility for your own work.”