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DPT2 Student Allyson Merfeld Poetry Competition Winner Honored at Scholarship Luncheon

Pictured:  Brooks Jackson, dean of the Carver College of Medicine & Allyson Merfeld, second year DPT student


The University of Iowa is often regarded as “the Writing University” because of its world-renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop, but an appreciation and commitment to great writing is evident across the entire UI campus—including the Carver College of Medicine.

The college’s Writing and Humanities Program offers elective courses and activities that focus on the humanistic and creative aspects of medicine and medical education. The program also provides consultation and assistance to students preparing their written personal statements for residency interviews or developing research papers or abstracts.

The Writing and Humanities Program also oversees the Humanities Distinction Track, which is designed to encourage and support students interested in scholarship and learning opportunities in creative writing, philosophy, visual arts, social sciences, and related topics.

This fall, with the support of an anonymous donor’s gift, the Carver College of Medicine held a poetry competition for students in the MD, PT (physical therapy), and PA (physician assistant) programs. Three of the competition’s entrants were honored Oct. 17 at the college’s annual scholarship luncheon. First-place ($400), second-place ($300), and third-place ($200) scholarship prizes were awarded and will be applied to the students’ tuition, fees, or academic travel.


Allyson Merfeld, a student in the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Program, was awarded the top prize for her poem, “Ability”:

Together we grew up

We played, painted, and illustrated

Discriminated, I did not

You walked and looked a bit differently

Due to the disability

But you and I, me and you

Sisters was all we knew to be true

Then came the world It pointed out and indicated


On the differences between us

Separating us I took a step back and contemplated

Feeling frustrated In my mind I debated

Because today, it is constantly stated,

“Be equal and fair”

That’s what they say

Yet lengths of stairs keep people away

Looked around, saw no accommodations

A separation between destinations

So complicated

Navigating through racks in malls

Through the bathroom stalls

So aggravated

To everyone else, it’s so automated

It’s time I stand up and advocated

So each one of us is accommodated

No one is alienated

Everyone is celebrated


Thursday, October 31, 2019