Shallan Burke, a member of the LSSC Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa, is on a mission to improve Epilepsy awareness. As a part of an Honors Program project, Burke created an informational video with the help of her professor and mentor, Dr. Laura Dana.
“I am so passionate about improving epilepsy awareness because I have a younger, autistic brother who suffers with seizures,” says Burke. The video project was created to share facts and information about Epilepsy and how to respond if someone is having a seizure. Burke shares, “Epilepsy is something so many know little about. It is time to educate.”
“They start the project in the second semester of their freshman year,” says Amber Karlins, Coordinator of the Honors Program. “With the guidance and assistance of a mentor, students work on their project over the course of a year, ultimately presenting their work at our Honors Day event in April.”
Karlins shared, “Shallan’s done a beautiful job of taking a topic that was deeply personal to her and transforming it into a project that will benefit a significant number of people in our community.”
Burke is currently a sophomore at Lake-Sumter State College, hoping to become an Occupational Therapist to work one-on-one with children in a hospital or private practice. “I plan first to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and then go on to get my Master’s in Occupational Therapy,” she says.
Burke’s favorite class at LSSC is Introduction to Psychology. “I enjoyed learning more about why people react in specific ways and gaining a deeper understanding of how the brain and emotions work.”
Having lived in Leesburg, FL, for most of her life, Burke chose LSSC because she liked the idea of a smaller college close to home. She began her path to LSSC when she was a dual enrollment student during her senior year of high school at First Academy in Leesburg.
“I love how helpful the professors have been, and I enjoy the smaller class sizes,” says Burke. She expressed her love of the Honors Program and feels grateful to be a part of it. “I love the school spirit involved in the program and the fact that we can participate in service projects for the local community.”
With an innovative, integrated curriculum taught by award-winning faculty, the Honors Program provides students with extensive opportunities to develop deeper learning through research, real-world experience, and engaging co-curricular activities.
Burke shares a special shout-out to all the professors who have made the Honors Program what it is today. “I will forever be thankful for this experience and my friendships with my classmates,” she says.
If Burke were to describe LSSC in one word, she would choose welcoming. “All of the professors and staff are there to help you and want to see you succeed,” says Burke.
Her advice for incoming students would be to not stress about the college experience and to trust the process. She adds, “be bold, speak up to your professors, and ask questions if you have them.”
After graduation from LSSC this May, Burke will continue to go on to school at Stetson University for her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Here she will continue to share her message of Epilepsy awareness and eventually become an Occupational Therapist. As a result of her participation in the Honors Program at LSSC, Burke will receive a full ride to Stetson and guaranteed admission to their honors program.
To learn more about Epilepsy and how to respond if someone is having a seizure, please watch Shallan’s PSA video and share it with others.