Hannah Thacker
Hannah Thacker

March 2, 2023

As a senior at Shawnee State University, Hannah Thacker (Hometown: Minford, Ohio) has nothing but amazing things to say about the Pre-Med program she will be graduating from this spring. Thacker was inspired by various parts of the program to pursue this career field.

“My sister actually has Marfan syndrome so that drove me toward the field,” she said. “I got to see the medical side of those things from a young age.”

In addition to her personal connection, Thacker found that the opportunity to participate in cadaver labs within her degree was an important component to have in her education.

“The cadaver lab here is great and so that also drove me to be in the Pre-Med program,” she said. “It gives us a more in-depth look at the body as we talk one-on-one with our professor which is really cool, and it’s really nice considering a lot of programs don’t have cadavers.”

Enrolled in a rigorous degree program, Thacker has found support from her classmates and faculty members. Maintaining a close relationship with both groups, is has created a comfortable environment that she has been able to enjoy during her time at SSU.

“I feel like it’s a common misconception that Pre-Med is so hard and you can’t do it, but our professors are so helpful with everything we do that it’s not that bad,” she said.

Along with the help she has received from professors and faculty, Thacker believes the program itself has her well prepared for when she moves on to her graduate program.

“It’s definitely preparing me well,” she said, noting that next year, she will be attending Kettering College as a part of their Physician’s Assistant program.

For students looking into the Pre-Med program, Thacker said not to be afraid of taking on the challenge.

“It is not as bad as you think it will be,” she said. “You get stressed at times but that’s okay. You can also take time to relax and take breaks.”

SSU’s Pre-Med program is designed to prepare students to enter medical or professional school with a strong foundation in biology, a development of scientific research skills, and with hands-on experiences like the advanced human anatomy course – where students can participate in a human cadaver dissection lab. The program also offers an Early Assurance Program for high-performing high school students to enter the university’s Pre-Med program while also receiving guaranteed acceptance into Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

To learn more about the Pre-Med program at Shawnee State University, visit