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Student Spotlight: Ava Lekander 

Ava Lekander grew up in Anchorage, Alaska before attending Loyola Marymount University for her undergraduate education. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology and a Minor in Jewish Studies. Ava became interested in Bioethics after learning of the history of physician mistreatment and abuse of minority populations. Ava plans to attend medical school and hopes to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology using her knowledge of Bioethics to provide the best care possible to her future patients.  

What are some of your hobbies? 

I have always enjoyed being active and feel strongly about the rewards that come from a healthy lifestyle. Tennis was a formative activity from a young age. Through years of hard work on the court, I became the Girl’s Singles Regional and State tennis champion three of four years of high school. During high school, I traveled to Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Texas competing and was ranked as high as tenth in the Pacific Northwest division. I had always planned to play college tennis, although upon deciding I wanted to pursue medicine, these simultaneous pursuits did not seem compatible. Ultimately, I chose my goal of becoming a physician over my parallel dreams on the tennis court. Although I no longer spend hours on the tennis court each day as I once did, I still love keeping active through yoga, running, skiing, and occasionally tennis.


What is your favorite destination and why?
I love visiting Norway and staying with my Great-Aunt, Unnie. At 87 years old, Unnie is shockingly spry and can still outwalk me. My family in the United States is small and spread out so going to Norway and seeing my large extended family of all ages is special to me. While there in 2019, a few of us trekked to Hemsedal, Norway and found our ancestral home where my Great-Great-Great Grandmother raised her ten children.  

Why did I decide to study bioethics?

The decision to obtain a Masters in Bioethics arose through my undergraduate minor of Judaic Studies. I discovered an interest in the ethics of medicine after taking courses such as ‘Nazi Germany: Questions of Conscience.’ Courses like this made me aware of certain ways medicine and medical personnel have abused their medical training for horrific purposes, such as involuntary euthanasia and experimentation on minority populations. As an aspiring physician, I hope to use my knowledge in Bioethics to ensure future patients of all backgrounds are heard and seen. 

LMU Bioethics Institute Logo thinking man sitting on microscope
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