Meet Porter Beilfuss ’22
Our Standout Student for Summer 2020

Major: Biology (Biomedical Concentration)
Minor: Chemistry
Graduation date: May 2022
GPA: 4.0
Hometown: Ashland, Wis.

Organizations and activities: 
  • Men’s Tennis
  • TRIPS Program
  • TRIPS Leader 2021
  • Michels Hall Service-Learning Program (Resident Assistant 2020-21)
  • Student Government Association
  • Secretary for American Medical Student Association
  • Office of Admission Student Representative
  • Alto Saxophonist in Wind Ensemble
  • Member of Honors Program

Scholarships and awards: 
  • Trustee Distinguished Scholarship
  • Exemplary Leadership Award
  • Men’s Tennis Most Improved Player 2019

St. Norbert gives students the opportunity to experience the richness of college life, pursue their dreams and expand their knowledge.

Proudest achievement at St. Norbert:
The work I’ve done serving others, on and off campus. In the office of admission, I give tours to prospective students, really sharing our community with them in hopes that they will also decide to come to St. Norbert and invest in an education here. I also did a trip for the first time this past December through the TRIPS Program – a children’s medical trip to Memphis, Tenn. It was just a really eye-opening experience getting to work and volunteer for a whole week in a very big children’s hospital right around Christmas.

Reasons for choosing St. Norbert:
Funnily enough, I didn’t choose St. Norbert knowing that there would be such service opportunities or that I would be so focused on them! I zeroed in on St. Norbert just because I have many different interests: I wanted a school that had a strong reputation for the sciences. I also wanted to continue playing tennis in college. I wanted to be able to continue playing in a band or being in an ensemble on campus, and the list goes on and on. Since I’ve been at St. Norbert, not only have I been able to do all those things, but I’ve discovered this passion for service, as well.

Favorite place on campus:
I’d have to say the gazebo down by the Fox River. It’s right along the docks. I really like just sitting there, especially in those hours of not having to study, just to take a break from everything. It’s nice just to go down there and see everyone on the river, see the birds flying above, sometimes it’s really quiet in the evening and it’s just a nice peaceful spot that kind of reminds me of home, growing up on the shoreline of Lake Superior.

Relationship with faculty and staff:
All of my professors have been the most kind and welcoming. I had Dr. Choudhury for comparative vertebrate anatomy this spring when we were learning from home during the pandemic, and he went out of his way to make sure that he was available to answer our questions and make resources available to us. Typically, that anatomy course is very hands-on, with labs every week. But he adapted and got creative, live-streaming lab demonstrations for us. I had Dr. Russel for organic chemistry. It’s one of those subjects that a lot of people would shrink away from in fear, but he was an amazing professor and it was a joy to be in his lecture every day. He’s one of the funniest teachers I’ve ever had, and the different mechanisms that he taught us to remember different things in organic were just amazing.

Goals after St. Norbert College:
I’m really excited to enroll in to a medical school. My dream school would be the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They have a rural medicine academy, and the great thing about that would be, after a few years of Madison, I would be able to do my residencies up north. And my end goal would be to become a primary-care rural physician, whether it’s pediatrics or family medicine, either in northern Wisconsin or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

What my scholarship means to me:
I would just say that if it wasn’t for the Trustee Distinguished Scholarship, all that I just said about my experiences at St. Norbert and the people I’ve met and even my plans for the future would not have been possible. I have a few jobs on campus, as a tour guide and as a note-taker for a few of my classes, but those are just little jobs. If it wasn’t for that scholarship, I know I would have had to be looking for jobs off campus and I wouldn’t be a full-time student; I would be a full-time student plus a part-time worker. It’s eased the burden for my family and me.