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.

Originally from New Zealand and Australia, I 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. During my junior spring semester, I studied abroad 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. At the University of Michigan, I am a member of Student Council and the medical school a cappella group, The Auscultations. Also, I collaborate on pediatric tuberculosis research through the School of Public Health. I plan to sub-specialize in pediatrics or adolescent health. 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. The American Challenge was the culmination of an incredible Overland career; it tested my leadership, physical strength and ability to understand and support my students through a demanding and life-changing six-week journey. Remembering how these teenagers rose to the challenge and grew over the course of the trip—while showing keen interest in the communities we cycled through along the way—truly inspires me. The connections and friendships that we formed will far outlast the summer. Often, I think about how my group tackled the harsh conditions of the Oklahoma Panhandle; at that point, we realized how strong a team we had become. I am overwhelmingly grateful to have led the American Challenge. I am proud of what we achieved together and excited for my students’s futures.