Mitchell Braun: The Art of Healing

Recent biology graduate Mitchell Braun will spend his summer applying to the nation’s top medical schools while working as both a medical scribe in a hospital ER and a teaching assistant at a social skills clinic for autistic children. A native of Camarillo, Calif., Mitchell is the 2017 recipient of LMU's Ignatian Award for academic excellence and devotion to service and hopes to continue living out the University mission as he transitions into the next phase of his academic career.

"My time on the bluff has definitely made me much more confident in my abilities," Mitchell said. "Both academically and in my ability to form meaningful relationships."

One such relationship formed was with LMU biology professor, Dr. Philippa Drennan. The pair studied plant desiccation tolerance in leaf structures and evaluated their potential for water absorption in the rehydration process.

"At a larger university, undergraduate research isn't usually possible," Mitchell said. "But at LMU, it's a large part of the academic experience – especially if you're a science major."

Mitchell paired his biology studies with a minor in art history, a subject for which he is equally passionate.

"I love art and art history because it's so universal," Mitchell said. "Every culture across the world has some sort of art – it's a great way to understand people and communicate messages. My hope is to integrate art into my work as a doctor and when involved with community development in a way that is both therapeutic and informative. 

Originally drawn to the bluff for its quaint feel and small class sizes, Mitchell says LMU exceeded all of his expectations, especially when it came to its popular study abroad program. Mitchell spent a semester studying in Madrid, Spain and calls the adventure the highlight of his college experience.

"It was absolutely amazing to immerse myself in another culture and see another Jesuit university," Mitchell said. "I even got the chance to travel to the actual Loyola in Northern Spain and see where St. Ignatius grew up and became the man we talk about today."

In addition to the Ignatian Award, Mitchell is also the recipient of the Frank R. Seaver Scholar of the Year Award, a University Honors Program Award and a Presidential Citation. 

As for what advice he has for incoming Lions?

"Take courses and pursue things that you're passionate about and inspire not only you, but others."