Oneida Indian Nation Members Kristen and Kathryn Halbritter Follow Their Undergraduate Studies to Pursue Advanced Degrees in Medicine

After both graduating magna cum laude in 2017 from Michigan’s Andrews University, twin sisters Kristen and Kathryn Halbritter (Wolf Clan) will continue to pursue their dreams of practicing medicine.

Kristen Halbritter Marciniak was accepted to Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine on April 16, while Kathryn was accepted to Loma Linda University School of Medicine on June 24. Both are looking forward to their new adventures and graduating together again as part of the class of 2023.

Loma Linda, located a few miles south of San Bernardino, was Kathryn’s top choice. She’ll move to Southern California in July.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” she said. “I was accepted to the University of North Dakota, but I received an admissions decision from Loma Linda last week. It took lots of prayer, but I know I’m on the right path.”

The intense admissions process took nearly a year from application to decision. Now, Kathryn will start her first semester in August. The first two years are similar to the undergraduate experience, she says, but with far more volume density. The final two years are focused on clinical rotations.

“I hope to come back home to serve our people,” Kathryn said. Previously, she had worked at the Oneida Indian Nation’s Health Services as a medical scribe for Dr. Ratnakumar Seelan Newton. “My time at Health Services was invaluable and reinforced my decision to apply to medical school. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The whole team was encouraging and supportive through the whole process.”

Meanwhile, Kristen heads to Iowa in early August to start veterinary school. Her program is also four years.

“I will graduate with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine,” she said excitedly. “I’ve always wanted to be a vet and it’s always been my goal.”

Kristen’s husband, David, will also be attending Iowa State to pursue a Master’s of Business Administration. They hope to move to a new place they’ve never been before, such as the pacific northwest, when they finish their studies.

“It’s a huge honor and I am extremely blessed to get the support that I will be getting through the scholarship program,” Kristen said. “I’m super excited to begin the last part of my education to become what I’ve always dreamed of becoming.”

Kathryn added that she hopes the next generation of Oneidas considers professional practice degrees.

“I hope this accomplishment will inspire and encourage our other Oneida youth to pursue a medicine or professional degree, and that it is possible,” she said. “Whatever you set your mind to, if determined and driven to get there, can be done!”

The Oneida Indian Nation Education Department’s Scholarship Program has helped many Nation Members on their career journeys. From certificate programs to advanced degrees, the Nation is committed to providing Members with financial peace of mind to focus on their studies.