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Dr. Brad Van Sickle, '96

Dr. Brad Van Sickle, '96Dr. Brad Van Sickle, ’96, a pediatric endocrinologist at Akron Children’s Hospital, began his postsecondary education at Muskingum University, where he majored in neuroscience.

When he was looking at colleges, Van Sickle preferred the atmosphere of small colleges like Muskingum, and he wanted to find a school where he could play soccer, but was concerned that a private school would be cost prohibitive. However, Van Sickle knew several other graduates of his high school in Norton, Ohio who had received academic scholarships to attend Muskingum, so he decided to apply. The decision to attend was made easy when he received an academic scholarship from Muskingum.

After graduating Muskingum, Van Sickle spent eight years in a joint MD/PhD program at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. Following that time, he completed his residency at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, specializing in Pediatric Endocrinology. In 2009, he and his family returned to northeast Ohio, where he joined the staff at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Van Sickle says, “I always knew I wanted a career in medicine,” but he began to consider a research component because of his experiences in the neuroscience program at Muskingum. As an undergraduate, he helped a faculty member conduct electrophysiology research. He explains, “I found a lab for my PhD work that used some of the same techniques so I already had a head-start.”

For Dr. Van Sickle, “The most important aspect of my time at Muskingum was being able to get involved on campus. If I had attended a large university, I would not have had the opportunity to grow in the leadership roles available, from participation in varsity soccer, Homecoming Committee, Centerboard, and Greek life. I have always been a reserved person but learned to how to step to the front, work with others and take on new challenges. The education I found outside the classroom at Muskingum was just as valuable for my time after graduation as my science classes.”