Clearing the hurdles life throws at you is a lot easier when you’re on the track and field team at the University of North Dakota.
Jimmy Evers is the recipient of the 2015-16 NCAA Spring Postgraduate Scholarship. As a hurdler for the university, he is just the third UND’s men’s track and field athlete to do so, and the first in the Division 1 era.
After Evers’ mother noticed the scholarship was up for grabs, she told her son that he should apply. After Evers contacted the athletic department to ask about the scholarship, he found out he only had two days to submit everything in order to be considered.
Making the deadline and submitting for the scholarship, Evers remembers the day he found out he won very clearly.
“I was working at Altru and I was on a break actually,” Evers recalls. “So I got this email that said ‘congratulations! You just won the postgraduate spring scholarship!’ and I just looked around and there was nobody to celebrate with! I was all by myself and was like ‘dang it!’ so I ended up calling my mom and we were just ecstatic.”
Raised in Grand Forks, Evers is beginning his first year as a medical student. Graduating summa cum laude from UND in May with a degree in physics and an overall GPA of 3.917, Evers plans to stick around the area and attend the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences this coming fall.
As talkative as he is outgoing, Evers exudes the confidence and poise you would expect in a young man with such high-minded ambitions. With dreams of working in medicine and balancing a family life, Evers decided to go into medicine for several reasons, a big reason being that he loves interacting with people.
“Each person is so unique and fun in (their) own way,” Evers said. “People are so complex. And forming relationships, especially long term friendships, is very exciting.”
But finding the perfect job in medicine while still being able to have enough free time to raise a family can be a bit tricky, which is why Evers is drawn towards career paths in medicine he refers to as ROADs (radiology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, dermatology). According to Evers, careers in any one of the specialties that fall under ROADs would allow him a rewarding career, but still enough time with his future family.
However, given this is Evers’ first year in medical school, he’s open to exploring every specialty regardless of the work tempo he will experience in the future.
“I’d like to have that family life,” Evers said. “But I’d rather pick a specialty that I love so I’d enjoy working.”
Putting in work
As a freshman at UND, Evers was on the fence about whether he wanted to pursue a degree in engineering or medicine. After taking part in a job-shadowing event, Evers soon found the answer to his dilemma when he realized his love for talking to people would serve him well as a doctor.
“People want doctors who can relate to them and who they can trust to do what’s best for them,” Evers explains. “They want doctors who will listen not only about their condition, but also to their lifestyle so that they can treat patients in ways that suit that particular person.”
Once Evers decided he wanted to go into medicine, he had the daunting task of preparing for to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Buckling down and applying himself to his studies, Evers performed well on the test, scoring in the 96th percentile.
“I studied for a full month,” Evers said. “I didn’t work, I didn’t go to school, I didn’t do anything over Christmas break but study for 10 to 12 hours a day.”
Athletic and determined
Competing at the 2016 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championship, Evers finished third in the 110-meter hurdles while also tying a 16 year old school record with a time of 14.27 seconds during the conference preliminaries.
Evers’ face lights up as he discusses his time with the track and field team here at UND. Remembering the team as more of a family, he reflects on what he will miss the most about his time with the team.
“Friends, absolutely,” Evers says. “You walk in freshmen year and you have 100 people that you’re close to within two weeks, its unbelievable. I was in two weddings this summer, both guys I met in track, and their wives were both girls they met in track. I consider it to be a lot like an athletic fraternity and sorority. It’s just an awesome group of friends with shared interests.”
Not the only one
Evers is not the only UND athlete to receive the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for the 2015-16 year. Shelby Amsley-Benzie and Nick Mattson, of the women’s and men’s hockey team, respectfully, have both been awarded the prestigious scholarship as well.