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Steven Kurtz in a doctor coat and stethoscope

Meet a Science Grad: Steven Kurtz

By College of Science

The following interview is part of a series the College of Science conducted with some of our alumni. While their experiences and career paths vary widely, their passion for science and love for the College and OSU tie them together.

Steven Kurtz

Major: BioHealth Sciences
Additional Education: M.S. in Biotechnology, Johns Hopkins University (’17), M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies, California State University – Monterey Bay (’21)
Occupation: Physician Assistant student with California State University Monterey Bay & Advanced Anatomy & Physiology tutor

Why did you choose to study at OSU?

Oregon State University has an exceptional reputation for providing a rigorous and comprehensive science curriculum that prepares its students for success post-graduation.

What led you to choose your major and career path?

I chose to major in BioHealth Science/Pre-PA and become a physician assistant because I cannot imagine any other career than one allowing me to diagnose illness and treat patients, but I did not want to be committed to one particular specialty. Physician assistants have the unique ability to explore many different interests in medicine.

How did the College of Science prepare you for your future career?

I highly enjoyed my time in the College of Science, and it prepared me well by providing an incredibly rigorous curriculum in all of the sciences. The foundation I received during undergraduate allowed me to succeed in pursuing a M.S. in Biotechnology at Johns Hopkins University and a M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies at California State University Monterey Bay.

What would people be surprised to learn about your profession?

Others may be surprised by the notion that physician assistants can, and should, operate at the level of a physician in most circumstances.

How were you involved in the OSU community?

As a transfer student working three jobs while attending classes, I was not able to participate in many activities or clubs. I spent my available free time volunteering as a teaching instructor in the Advanced Anatomy & Physiology labs.

Was there a particular professor or advisor who made an impact in your undergraduate career?

Hands down, the number one professor that had the greatest impact on me is Devon Quick, the instructor for advanced anatomy and physiology. She not only prepared me to succeed during my undergraduate career; her unparalleled instruction and emphasis on conceptual thinking allowed me to excel in my physician assistant program. She expects the most out of her students but she will provide the support and resources necessary to become successful in any chosen career. Professor of the decade, in my opinion.

What did you do for fun to de-stress from schoolwork?

I became heavily interested in extreme sports and spent any free time skydiving, bungee jumping, skiing, scuba diving and cliff jumping. I usually celebrated finals by jumping 300 feet off of a bridge.