Meet second year student Alex Waldherr from Elmhurst, Illinois, who has done more in his first three semesters at Miami than some students ever will. Alex is one of the two cofounders of Delta Epsilon Mu, a national pre-professional fraternity focused on healthcare that doesn’t limit its members to science majors. Alex is a Microbiology and Pre-Med co-major himself, but he can’t wait for a new diverse group of members to join Delta Epsilon Mu, and we can’t wait to tell you more about him.
Major/Minor: Microbiology and Pre-Med co-major; undeclared Neuroscience minorYear in School: second yearHometown: Elmhurst, Illinois
HC: What is Delta Epsilon Mu?Alex Waldherr: Delta Epsilon Mu is a co-ed pre-health, pre-professional fraternity. So basically, it’s the most inclusive organization that we could have formed for students here at Miami. We’re willing to take majors spanning from normal Pre-Med as well as pre-Pharmacy, Nursing, and others but also—this is where it starts to get a little different— Biomedical Engineering, Pre-Law. So it’s things that aren’t typically thought of as health care-related because they’re not a science field, necessarily. So that’s what we’re all about—just trying to start out as early as we can with getting people use to interacting with the other kinds of people they’re going to have to work with in the future.
HC: What programs have you done, or what programs are you planning?AW: We’ve hosted guest speakers. We’ve hosted a representative from a D.O. program in Indianapolis Merion College; he came and spoke to us and explained D.O. programs. His speak and presentation was very informative, and he changed the way I thought about it. Our goal is to reach out and provide health care education not only to our members, but to our surrounding community as well.
HC: What role did you play in forming Delta Epsilon Mu and what is your position in the group now?AW: I am one of our two co-founders as well as a member of our founding class. My co-founder Cecilia Favede and I came up with this idea in the back of our bio class last year. We were talking and thinking, “You know, maybe there can be more for students on campus here… more options… You know, why don’t we just make one?”
HC: So what position do you have now in Delta Epsilon Mu?AW: Right now, I am our national liaison, so I’m responsible for all of our interactions with our national organization. That includes our director of expansion who helped us found our chapter here, as well as the rest of the national executive committee. I relay information from those meeting back to our chapter here at Miami so they know what’s going on on a national level, and vice versa, I report back to our national chapter so they know what we’re up to.
HC: How has establishing Delta Epsilon Mu impacted you? AW: This was a huge time commitment for me last semester. It was a lot of work. Mostly I’m just proud; I’m proud that we had this idea and we got this amazing group of people together and we made it happen. That was the coolest thing to me: seeing something that was just an idea in our heads less than a year, and now it’s a tangible organization on campus. To me it’s just a tremendous amount of pride to know how much I put into this and to see something amazing is coming out of it. It was tough. There were times when I was really stressed. I was doing projects for Delta Epsilon Mu while I had exams coming up, but in the end it’s all worth it. It’s awesome.
HC: Where do you want to see Delta Epsilon Mu by the time you’re graduating?AW: I want us to be a diverse organization. Part of our goals for our organization is to be able to provide mentorship to younger students pursuing the same interests that we are. We really want to see our group diversified by the time I graduate. I want to see not only people who are Pre-Med but all kinds of majors and disciplines. I’d really love to see someone interested in malpractice law be a part of our organization. I’d really like to see some business majors who are interested in hospital administration, and things like that.
HC: What else are you involved with on campus?AW: I’m a part of Miami Best Buddies. So I’ve been hanging out with my buddy Tyler since first semester last year. It’s a program that pairs individuals with disabilities with a college student, and you just hang out with them. It’s an amazing program. I was very involved with the Special Olympics in high school and the Autism Society of Illinois as well. It’s great. Tyler is one of my best friends here at Miami and I look forward to seeing him all the time. He’s always happy; always excited to see me. Just the fact that he’s excited to see me means the world to me. I’m involved in some other things, too. I’m involved in Club Water Polo and I was on RHA/CLT last year.
HC: What has been the most rewarding experience for you at Miami University?AW: I think that the most rewarding experience so far here at Miami is that I’ve had so many options of things to do here. If you’re bored at Miami, then you’re doing it wrong. There’s so many things that you can be doing here that you can get involved in; there’s no reason to be bored or sitting around with way too much time on your hands. If so, I don’t think you’re getting enough out of our school.
HC: Who is your role model?AW: I have a lot of members in my family who are very influential in my life. My grandparents are all self-made people. Two of them came from Germany after WWII, and the other two grew up incredibly poor in Chicago during the Great Depression. They all worked incredibly hard to make a life for themselves and their families, and I have a tremendous about of respect for that. They are incredibly supportive of me and my life. My grandpa is the one who taught me how to throw a baseball. Also my parents, obviously. My mom is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. My dad is incredibly hard working, but he always managed to make it back to swim meets and soccer games. Also, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Tim Howard. I was a goalie when I played soccer, and he’s an incredible, incredible goalkeeper. I look up to him for his ability, as well as he has Tourette Syndrome. Not only has he overcome it, but he’s used his position as a celebrity to raise awareness not only for people with Tourettes, but also people with other learning disabilities. I have tremendous amount of respect for that.
HC: If there is a TV character who represents your life, who would it be?AW: I’d go with Ted Mosby from “How I Met Your Mother.” I’m a hopeless romantic, but things always don’t work out the way they should or the way I think they should. I loved “How I Met Your Mother” because I could totally see myself in Ted, and eventually it all just works out in the end, but I could totally see that being my life. Obviously I won’t have that kind of time to be drinking in a bar all the time, but other than that, I can definitely see myself as Ted.