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Campus Celebrity: Patrick Tolosky ’15

 
Patrick Tolosky (left) with his long time partner-in-crime, Alex Weissman (right), celebrating a successful day of surfing at the Outing Club annual fall clambake. 
 
Patrick Tolosky is not an unfamiliar face on campus. He is the comfortable soul you go to when you have questions about anything — the euphoric guy who knows how to have a good time. Serving as the president of ClubMed and co-president of the Public Health Initiative, Patrick bridges the gap between public health and the wider Bates community. Coordinating guest speakers, hosting movie screenings and organizing volunteer work with local organizations are only a few of the many things Patrick does to promote the welfare of others in the Bates community. 
 
In the summer before his sophomore year Patrick traveled to Tena, Ecuador, where he volunteered for MEDLIFE (Medicine, Education and Development to Low Income Families Everywhere), a non-profit organization devoted to providing low-income communities in Latin America with better access to medicine, education, and community development initiatives. 
 
 
Tena, Ecuador (Photo Credit)
 
This past summer, Patrick traveled to Peru to volunteer with Niños Del Sol, a children’s home in Urubamba, Peru, which is just outside of Cusco. Patrick stayed for three weeks to help the children’s home build a greenhouse so that they could be more sustainable and self-sufficient with their food. Patrick said it was a very rejuvenating time because after a tough academic year as junior studying for the MCAT. After spending his short term solely studying for the MCAT, he traveled to Lima for six weeks as part of a community development and sustainability academic program. After this study abroad program is when he traveled to Urubamba, where he was happy to do manual labor.
 
“It was also really nice to get away from my phone and the internet for three weeks, despite how blown up my inbox was by the end of it,” Patrick said.
 
When Patrick is not in meetings, at the gym or writing his thesis, Patrick likes to spend time with Outing Club, where he is the safety director and is currently coordinating a wilderness first responder (WFR) course for short term. He’s also affiliated with the Spanish Club, Men Against Sexual Violence and the Catholic group at Bates. Patrick is also very heavily involved with campus culture, serving as a representative for the Campus Culture Working Group. After the cancellation of Trick or Drink, Patrick set up a meeting with student leaders to put together a set of recommendations involving the drinking culture at Bates. He asked that transparency and student participation be central to any changes going forward put forth by the Administration. 
 
Pat finished all of his pre-med requirements and has completed the MCAT, but he wants to take a gap year (or two) before applying for medical school. I had the opportunity to interview this Campus Celebrity over breakfast and learn more about what’s up next in the life of Patrick Tolosky.
 
Why are you a Spanish major on the pre-med track?
 
“I’m also a Philosophy minor with a GEC in Identity, Race and Ethnicity. I figured that I would take the upper-level science classes in medical school; I came to a liberal arts college for a reason. I really wanted to get the liberal arts education. I encourage students to branch out and not major in the sciences. It also helps knowing the ‘skeleton’ of your schedule from your freshmen year.”
 
What’s up next on your agenda after graduation?
 
“It’s still up in the air. On May 16th I’ll be figuring out what I’ll be doing for the summer. I applied for the Davis Projects for Peace, which funds students to travel to other countries. My goal is to build a health clinic in Peru, where I’ll be working with Hannah Rae Porst, a Bates alumna that founded a legal Peruvian NGO called Willka Yachay that helps the indigenous Q’eros people. If that does not work out, I have a summer job lined up working with Wilderness Adventures, a company that leads outdoor trips in the West.
 
 
Qu’eros children (Photo Credit)
 
For plans after summer, around April, I’ll learn if I was accepted to complete a Fulbright in Spain. Otherwise, I’ll do short term work. I’ve been surrounded by healthcare my entire life, so it’ll be nice to try something new. Check out the Bates College Career Development Center for “short term” jobs; they have a big book of short term work available, I just looked through it and highlighted any jobs that I was interested in.”
 
Where is your favorite spot on campus?
 
“Top of Mount David at sunset, or during the darkest night of the month when there’s no clouds.”
 
View from Mount David. And no, that’s not Patrick. (Photo Credit
 
Do you have a favorite Bates memory?
 
“Freshman year short term. I met a lot of people and even went skydiving. I did a lot more stuff with the Outing Club. I was taking the short term course ‘Concepts of Self’ in the philosophy department. It was a very euphoric time. I have to contend that with the sunrise paddle during this first semester at Fall season. We paddled out to the middle of the Auburn Lake to watch the sunrise; it was very revitalizing for the soul, despite having an 8 a.m. class. [laughs] I highly recommend it to everyone.”
 
 
Auburn Lake (Photo Credit)
 
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
 
“I see myself working in medicine; my major focus in the medical career is to also fight against poverty in the U.S. and other countries because poverty is a root cause for illnesses. That is also partly why I’m a Spanish major because I want to work in Latin America.”
 
Book recommendation?
 
“For a serious reading: The Tibetan Book of the Living and the Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. It talks about materialism in the West and our viewpoint of death, which is really interesting to learn the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.
 
For a light reading: Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. It’s a cool novel about an alternate world. It’s the fastest I’ve ever read a book. You can equate it to 13th or 14th century of our world — it’s about the struggle of subjugations and people revolting. There’s a lot of storylines; it’s a great escapism book because there’s a lot of aspects to the book like romance, adventure, and King Arthur even makes an appearance.”
 
Guilty pleasures?
 
“I sometimes take really long showers, I know it’s really bad for the environment. But it’s my space to really relax and reflect on the day.” (Author’s note: He won’t say how long these showers are.) I also like mixing peanut butter and chocolate chips in a bowl, heating this in the microwave, and filling the bowl with vanilla ice cream. So it’s like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups with ice cream!”
 
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