South O'Brien student attends UI camp

South O'Brien High School junior Angela Nyunt (left) stands with other girls on the steps of the Old Capitol Building on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. Nyunt was one of 20 students selected to attend the Perry Research Scholars Institute for a 12-day camp in July.

REGIONAL—Angela Nyunt has always wanted to pursue a career in the medical field.

The 16-year-old Primghar resident has known that as far back as she can remember.

Her parents, Soe Nyunt and Jeannett Wu, are medical doctors.

“They are very pro-medical field,” Nyunt said. “I can still remember that they always asked me and my brother, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The answer would always be something along the lines of a doctor, a P.A. (physician assistant) or something like that.”

To prepare for her future, the junior at South O’Brien High School in Paullina has been attending camps at the University of Iowa in Iowa City since eighth grade.

She attended the Perry Research Scholars Institute through the college’s Belin-Blank Center July 7-19. The camp gave students an inside look and hands-on experience in some of the university’s on-campus research facilities.

Nyunt, one of 20 students from across the country selected for the camp, was introduced to the Belin-Blank Center’s programs through her membership in the Talented and Gifted program, which she has been a part of since kindergarten.

“It was a lot of touring and kind of getting to know the professors that did the research and seeing how it was conducted,” Nyunt said. “It was really interesting. We got to help out with a couple of their experiments so that was pretty cool, too.”

She has her sights set on a career in ophthalmology, or eye and vision care.

“I have cousins that were born with glaucoma and they’re very close to my age. They actually go to the doctor in Iowa City,” Nyunt said. “When I was in eighth grade, we had to do a project where we had to job-shadow someone — I still continue to job shadow Dr. (Stephen) Fox in Spencer through the Wolfe Eye Clinic. It’s a very interesting field.”

Along with attending the Perry Research Scholars Institute, she completed her certified nursing classes this summer and nursing clinicals at Orange City Area Health System.

She also attended a Hugh O’Brian Youth — HOBY — Leadership camp for sophomores during the summer.

“That’s another thing I’m into — leadership and public speaking,” Nyunt said.

She wants to start taking some of her pre-medicine classes next fall through the University of Iowa’s Bucksbaum Early Entrance Academy while finishing her high school career.

Nyunt remains busy with her deep involvement at South O’Brien. She participates in FFA, competitive speech and jazz band, and hopes to add working in the medical field to that busy schedule soon.

“I really like the medical field because it’s just an interesting way of helping people,” Nyunt said. “You make really unique connections by being their caregiver almost.”

This story originally was published in the Sept. 7, 2019, edition of The South O'Brien Sun.