Carmen Marie Sander
Hometown: Seiling, Okla.
Major: Pre-Med – Biology Major, Chemistry Minor
Miss Northwestern 2011, Carmen Sander, found much of her inspiration from her “lolo,” or grandfather, who came to the United States from the Philippines to attend medical school. He is now a general surgeon, and Sander hopes to follow in his footsteps, graduate from Northwestern with a 4.0 grade point average and study medicine at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center.
Although she can’t speak the language, Sander is a quarter Philippine and says she is “an expert connoisseur of Oriental foods.” She also comes from a huge family and is very family-oriented.
“I like to consider myself a happy person, and I enjoy every moment of time spent with family and friends,” the Seiling freshman said.
A small-town girl, Sander hopes to be a general practice physician and practice in a small town somewhere in Oklahoma.
“I believe life is too short to be a pessimist, so live each moment as it is your very last, because one day, it will be,” Sander said. “Never worry about something you cannot change, and never regret anything that made you smile.”
Sander landed at Northwestern after attending a college fair at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford during her senior year of high school.
“I stopped by the Northwestern booth and talked to Caleb Mosburg,” she said. “He told me of all the wonderful financial aid opportunities that Northwestern had to offer and suggested that I fill out an information card just in case. It’s really funny how all of this worked out now that I think of it.”
She said Northwestern’s beautiful campus and Alva’s small-town atmosphere also played a huge role in the college she chose to attend.
Although she dreamed of attending OU, Sander said once she arrived on Northwestern’s campus, not even OU could compete with being a Ranger.
“Being a Ranger means being a part of something so much bigger than myself - not only just a part, but an important part,” she said. “Here, I feel like a person instead of a number. For more than a century, Northwestern has provided higher education for its students … in a way that is more personal and meaningful to each individual. I take pride in the fact that I can call myself a Ranger and wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Before classes even started, Sander was thrown into the awesome opportunities Northwestern offers its students.
“I had the privilege to go to Boston with my President’s Leadership Class. It was a trip I will never forget,” she said. “Along with the little activities to strengthen my leadership skills, I experienced the unbelievable city of Boston with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. I left with lifelong friendships, unforgettable memories and was probably 10 pounds heavier due to huge amounts of food and late nights (at the) Cheesecake Factory.”
Although she has not experienced college life on any other campus, Sander said she can’t imagine a better experience than what Northwestern provides.
“When I was a senior in high school and was receiving calls from recruiters, asking about scholarships and going through the application process, Northwestern was more personable and genuinely interested (in me) than any other university I dealt with. That meant a lot to me.”
Now that she’s on campus, she has not been disappointed.
“Not only classes, but the entire college experience has taught me to be a more independent, responsible person,” she said. “Also, it may sound cheesy, but my speech class has made a huge difference in my communication since I have been at school. It is amazing what can happen when you actually take information you learn in the classroom and USE it outside the classroom.”
When Sander is not preparing for her career as a physician, she loves to read, run, draw, eat and even hunt. She also is a member of the Student Government Association, Math Club, Chemistry Club, Medical Sciences Club and Biology Club.
“I joined these clubs primarily to give myself the opportunity to interact and surround myself with other students that have the same interests as me and to take advantage of the extra learning opportunities these clubs provide,” she said.
Sander advises any student who attends Northwestern to get involved in many of the groups and activities offered on campus. She said any student, no matter what the major, can find valuable opportunities at Northwestern.
“If you have higher expectations for your college experience than just to obtain a degree, Northwestern is the place you want to come,” she said. “You will be given the opportune chance to make wonderful friendships, be involved in exciting activities and grow as an individual as you earn your degree.”
Movie: The Italian Job – I absolutely love Mark Wahlberg!
TV show: The Office
Actor/Actress: Actor – Mark Wahlberg; Actress – Reese Witherspoon
Book: The Bible
Type of music: Contemporary Christian
Group/singer: Casting Crowns
Season: Winter! I love Christmas
Drink: Iced tea
Food: Chinese food
Pet: My mini pot-bellied pig, Bo
Favorite Sport to Watch: Football
Favorite Toy as a Child: “Teddi” – a little stuffed bear. I took him everywhere.
Favorite Car: Mini Cooper
Favorite Flower: Sunflower
Favorite Day of the Year: December 25
Favorite inspirational quote: “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were in fact the big things.”
Other Favorites You’d Like to Share: My favorite place is Red River, New Mexico