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Student Success

Chloe Patterson ’23: A College Career Defined by a Passion for Medicine and Helping Others

Chloe Patterson stands in the Textiles Complex courtyard.

By Sarah Stone

Chloe Patterson took a challenging childhood experience and turned it into an unmatched drive to give back. 

“I was a patient at a Children’s Miracle Network hospital in Virginia,” Patterson says. “I think growing up with those health issues and staying in the hospital system developed my passion for medicine.”

That passion for keeping her community healthy has played a role in nearly every aspect of this Goodnight Scholar’s college experience. Most notably, Patterson has served as president and director of hospital relations for Dance Marathon, a student-led philanthropic event that raises money for the same network of hospitals where she was a patient growing up. She’s also worked a part-time job as a medical assistant and taught yoga at Carmichael Gym

Perhaps the most unique of Patterson’s healthcare-related experiences outside of the classroom was the four weeks she spent shadowing doctors abroad. 

Chloe Patterson wears a white lab coat and a blouse and stands in front of a sign that reads "Hospital Ernest Lluch."

“It was really interesting and enlightening to see the differences between their healthcare systems and ours,” she says. “We got exposed to every single medical specialty that the program could offer.”

After graduating with her bachelor’s in polymer and color chemistry (PCC), she’ll work full time as a medical assistant for a year in order to become eligible to apply to physician’s assistant (PA) school. She plans to become a PA in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN).

While Patterson enrolled in NC State intending to pursue a pre-med track, she could never have guessed she’d be graduating with a PCC degree. 

Why did you choose the Wilson College and PCC? 

I actually came to NC State as a nutrition science major on the pre-med track, and I figured out pretty quickly that it just wasn’t the right fit for me. I wanted smaller class sizes, and I wanted to be in a major that gave me more career options in case I decided I didn’t want to go to med school. 

I think overall, NC State just has so many opportunities, so it’s easy to find one that fits you and what you’re passionate about.

Some staff members with Goodnight Scholars told me about PCC and said it might be a good program for me. They told me about the medical concentration and how if I didn’t want to still go the PA route I could also get medical textiles or pharmaceutical jobs with the degree. I was interested in getting a unique degree that would look different on med school or PA school applications, so I transferred to the Wilson College after my first semester and I’ve loved it ever since then. 

With the medical science concentration, I’m able to get all of my prerequisites for PA school, but I’ve also had the opportunity to take all these color science classes and textile classes, which are super interesting and prepare me for so many different careers. 

Which class at the Wilson College has been your favorite?

It was a class focusing on the environmental impacts of the textile industry taught by Dr. Ormond. I really did not think I would like it as someone who doesn’t plan to work in the textile industry, but it was one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken. It was just really cool to see all the impacts. 

Dr. Ormond also does a lot of research with firefighter gear and seeing what chemicals are getting into firefighter and protective equipment. All that was just super interesting to me because even though it’s not something I thought I was interested in, it impacts the world and our daily life.

What has been your most impactful experience? 

Within the Wilson College, it would be my time as a student worker for the ACSS (Academic, Career and Student Services) office. I worked there as a student ambassador – giving tours to prospective students and answering their questions – as well as a social media ambassador sharing my experiences as a student. It was something I didn’t really know that I would want to do, but it ended up being really fun and exciting. 

Chloe Patterson (right) stands next to another person and smiles at the camera. Both stand in front of a stage, an NC State University podium, a Dance Marathon banner, and a set of gold balloons that reads "DM 23."

And then at NC State as a whole, involvement in Dance Marathon was definitely the most impactful experience for me. Seeing all the money we could raise for Duke Children’s Hospital – we raised $50,000 this year and over $50,000 last year – was so empowering. It’s just really important to me to be part of something that is making a difference. 

I think overall, NC State just has so many opportunities, so it’s easy to find one that fits you and what you’re passionate about.

Which person on campus has influenced you most during your time here?

Can I give two answers? 

Okay, so for a professor I would say Dr. Vinueza. He is one of the most understanding people I’ve ever encountered. Especially as a professor, he notices the needs of his students really well and he’s always willing to help us out, which means a lot because you don’t find that on every college campus. He’s always willing to help. 

He always gives us opportunities to learn. He’s super passionate about what he’s teaching and people that are super passionate do such a better job of portraying information; you can just tell he loves his job. I was lucky enough to have him as a professor twice. 

A student ambassador gives a tour of the Wilson College of Textiles
Chloe Patterson gives a tour of the Wilson College to prospective students.

And then everyone in the ACSS office. I worked there as a student, and they’re just some of the nicest people I know and they want me to be successful. Even though I don’t work there anymore, they’re always checking in on me. They help their students out a lot, and the advisors here are just amazing.