Kyle Sramek, a 2013 Most Valuable Student scholar, recently graduated from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln where he majored in psychology. He will be continuing his studies at the University’s medical school in the fall, hoping to specialize in Psychiatry.
During his undergraduate journey, Kyle stayed active in both his university and community through several different extracurricular and volunteering opportunities. These ranged all the way from volunteering at an Adult Day Care center, to participating in the University of Nebraska’s various choirs. While all the extracurriculars and volunteering took up a lot of his time, they surely didn’t take away from his studies and academic achievements. Through his undergraduate career, he was one of 49 students in his class to receive the Chancellor’s Scholar distinction, the Highest Distinction Degree for excellence in his honors thesis and defense, made the Dean’s List for eight consecutive semesters, and was a National Merit Scholar. All of his hard work did not go unnoticed, and goes towards an important profession that he feels very passionate about.
Choosing the path he did was not something that happened out of pure interest, but rather through personal experience. “Watching someone I love succumb to the grips of opiate addiction is the hardest thing I have ever been through.”, Kyle states, “The story of my loved one’s addiction has a happy ending, or at least a happy progression, because of the power that psychiatrists possess to change people’s lives.”
This experience not only opened his eyes to the importance of psychiatry, but motivates him to be the person that can help someone like his loved one was once helped. While Kyle strongly desires to help people in need, he specifically hopes to bring his abilities into underprivileged communities, where many mental illnesses, such as drug addiction, are present at higher rates.
“The opportunity to turn your life around and regain the healthy, happy life you desire is one of the best gifts you can be given, and it’s the gift I want to be able to give others as a physician”, says Kyle.