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Heather Lovelace ’15

A World-Class Healer

Heather Lovelace ’15

Heather Lovelace ’15 knew she belonged in medicine. As a student-athlete, her love for physical activity drew her to major in Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology and ultimately a career in orthopedic medicine where she currently practices as a nurse practitioner at Samaritan Medical Group Orthopedics in Albany and Corvallis, Oregon. Lovelace took advantage of opportunities at Whitman including exploring fields of medicine through organizations like the Pre-Health Society and working closely with her professors on research projects related to her interests—all with her career goals in mind.

Having the opportunity to assist patients through injury, surgery and recovery has been an honor and helps reinforce the work I do to keep people moving and doing the activities they enjoy.

Heather’s Pathway

2011 | Welcomed to Whitman with a merit-based scholarship.
2011 | Student-athlete on the Women's Varsity Basketball Team: Lovelace was a part of the team’s historic 2013–2014 season, ending with a bid to the NCAA tournament and a second-place finish nationally.
2011 | Pre-Health Society Member: With guidance from Whitman's Office of Health Professions Advising, Lovelace had the opportunity to engage with graduate schools, gain knowledge about healthcare needs in different communities and discover which postgraduate degrees piqued her interest.
2012 | Student Employee at Baker Ferguson Fitness Center
2013 | Wheeler Foundation Research Fellowship at Legacy Research Institute: At the Dever’s Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon, Lovelace saw firsthand the inner workings of a medical clinic and helped inspire her thesis research topic.
2013 | Vice President of Delta Gamma
2014 | Pre-Health Society Co-President
2014Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Co-President
2015Presented at the Whitman Undergraduate Conference on "The Physiological Effects of Acute Intraocular Pressure Elevation in Eight Rhesus Monkeys with Experimental Glaucoma.” During her research, Lovelace worked closely with a faculty member sponsor.
2015 | Graduated from Whitman with a B.A. in Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
2021–2024 | Earned her Doctorate of Nursing at UMass Chan Medical School to become a registered family nurse practitioner.
2024 | Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner at Samaritan Medical Group Orthopedics—Albany and Corvallis, Oregon


Lovelace’s experience as a student-athlete influenced her choice to pursue orthopedic medicine. “As a former varsity Whitman Women's Basketball player, I experienced an ACL injury in my junior year. 

“After Whitman, I dedicated my efforts to pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner at UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester, MA. In my clinical training, I was fortunate enough to have a rotation in orthopedics which ignited my passions for science, movement and sports medicine.”

Find Other Upward Pathways

Published on Oct 6, 2023
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