CHADRON – Chadron State College student Aubree Quast of Clarks, Nebraska, is the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for April.

Quast said she chose CSC after learning about the Rural Health Opportunity Program (RHOP) during her visit to campus. She applied for the RHOP scholarship when she returned home and received a spot. Additionally, Quast said she didn’t feel like she could picture herself at any of the other colleges she visited.

She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Chemistry and plans to attend medical school after graduation to become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).

According to Quast, her interest in healthcare sparked after being involved in a car accident her sophomore year of high school and spending a large amount of time in hospitals and healthcare settings.

“I’ve always really liked healthcare, but I got into a car accident the last day of my sophomore year of high school, and it really opened my eyes to healthcare,” Quast said. “I had to have brain surgery and ultimately spent a lot of time in hospitals and somewhere along the line I learned to grow fond of healthcare and was just fascinated by it.”

Quast’s special interest in becoming a DO came from working with so many doctors following the car accident and discovering osteopathic medicine.

“I like the doctor role in healthcare because they’re like the puzzle master: they help everything come together to form a complete picture,” Quast said. “Osteopathic medicine is cool because it is more of a whole-body approach, which is why I have interest in it, but medical doctors are doing a lot of the same stuff now, so I have interest in that as well.”

Medical schools Quast is interested in include the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, School of Medicine at Creighton University, and University of Nebraska Medical Center, because they are partnered with Nebraska RHOP.

Quast’s favorite course at CSC was Microbiology with Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Jeffrey Kiiskila.

“Microbiology was just super interesting,” Quast said. “We did a project where we had to go through the whole process of swabbing samples, putting them on plates, separating samples, staining them, taking pictures, identifying them, and it was just a really cool experience.”

Quast is a member of Health Professions Club (HPC), Sports Medicine Club, Tri Beta, Cardinal Key, Chemistry Club, The Pit, and is a former Student Senate President.

Student Activities Coordinator Elise Gamble recognizes Quast’s efforts to improve student life at CSC along with her involvement on campus.

“Aubree is a star student, pursuing her academics while working and organizing Pit events and being involved on campus,” Gamble said. “Aubree has already had a huge impact across student life at CSC, and she is wonderful to work with. She is kind and considerate, and I look forward to seeing the things she accomplishes even after her time at CSC is done.”

Quast praises the pre-healthcare organizations, HPC and Sports Medicine Club, for providing students with opportunities to learn more about working in the field of healthcare and pre-healthcare professionals.

“The pre-healthcare clubs are cool because they provide a different side of healthcare,” said Quast. “Job shadowing during the Covid pandemic before I came to college was impossible, so it’s really nice to kind of get a chance to shadow now through the individuals that come in which is really nice.”

Quast notes some of the speakers that she has had an opportunity to learn from.

“One of the speakers we had joined the military right after medical school to have his loans paid for and he shared how his experience was different because he practiced outside of the U.S. pretty much right away; the policies and practices he learned and used while in a different country were completely different and then he had to readjust again when he returned to the U.S.” Quast said.

Quast also mentioned a speaker from the FBI who came to CSC and talked about biological weapons and warfare. According to her, the individual spoke about how healthcare workers are vital to figuring out how to deal with biological toxins and infectious agents. Quast described the information he presented as a different view of science and healthcare that she would not have thought about otherwise.

When Quast isn’t busy studying or involved with something on campus, she enjoys spending time at Chadron State Park.

“I’m usually super busy studying, so when I’m not doing school stuff, I really just like to relax,” said Quast. “I love sunsets and nature, so naturally I fell in love with the state park; the scenery and landscape are just so different from back home.”

Chadron State College’s Project Strive/TRiO program, located in the lower level of the King Library, is an academic enrichment program committed to help students succeed. Project Strive also focuses on career exploration, cultural and social enrichment, and self-awareness. To be eligible for the program, a student must be one of the following: A first-generation student where neither parent has a four-year degree, meet low-income status based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services criteria, or have a documented disability. For more information, visit