Alex Highet

Hometown: Irvington, New York
College: Williams College

After my fourth amazing Overland summer, I returned to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for my second year of medical school.

I grew up in New Zealand and Australia, and moved to New York with my family in 2004. I graduated from Williams in 2013 with a double major in art history and French and a pre-medical concentration. At my graduation, I was awarded the Friedberg Fellowship for independent study abroad and the Weston Award for distinction in art. At Williams, I was a board member of the Williams Outing Club and co-student director of Williams Outdoor Orientation for Living as First Years. I was also a board member for Storytime, a Moth-style speaking event, and a teaching assistant in art history and biology. I spent my junior spring semester in Aix-en-Provence, France. Post-graduation, I lived in New Zealand for four months, working in clinical research and exploring the South Island, and I lived in Burlington, Vermont, for one year, working in pediatrics and public health research. In 2015-2016, I worked as a university English teacher in western Turkey under a Fulbright Fellowship. Currently, I am a member of Student Council and the medical school a cappella group, The Auscultations. I am also collaborating on pediatric tuberculosis research through the School of Public Health. I aim to sub-specialize in pediatrics or adolescent health. In the meantime, I spend as much time as possible outside, running, biking and exploring the Ann Arbor coffee scene.

In 2012 and 2013, I led Language & Hiking France; in 2014, I led Field Studies Tanzania; and in 2017, I led the American Challenge. Our third challenge hike on Language & Hiking France was a relentless, three-hour steep uphill which brought us to the top of Planpraz, where we had our usual baguette and cheese lunch and looked down at Chamonix. After lunch, we took photos and then discussed where we would go next. Our options were to head back down the mountain, hike across the ridge to a different viewpoint, or climb 2000 feet higher to the Brévent, one of the highest peaks in the valley, where we could see over to the other side of the range. My co and I presented these options and then walked away from the group, leaving the decision up to them. About five minutes later, we heard the group coming to a consensus and “LHF” was screamed in unison. They’d decided to conquer the second mountain, and the decision had been made entirely on their own. We ended up summiting le Brévent after an exciting series of snow crossings and ladders, and the view was incredible—but it was even better to see the accomplishment among the group. Nobody regretted the decision. We unexpectedly surpassed our goal for that day and climbed 6000 feet and two mountains.