Junior and future med student Ben Judge has his eye on the future
February 5, 2013
Whether he is tackling laboratory work as an undergraduate researcher, heading up the course of the IUPUI Regatta, serving as part of IUPUI’s Undergraduate Student Government, or interacting with IUPUI’s alumni and community partners, Ben Judge is thinking long-term.
The Fort Wayne Canterbury High School graduate has been an enthusiastic participant in a wide array of campus events and organizations since arriving at IUPUI in 2010.
A self-described “no-nonsense guy, like my father,” Judge has juggled such demanding roles as executive director of IUPUI Regatta 2012, member of SOAR (Student Organization for Alumni Relations), Honors College student, Bepko Scholar and avid researcher in the department of cellular and integrative physiology in the School of Medicine.
Of all the tasks Judge has undertaken since coming to IUPUI, the one that challenged the School of Science major (in chemistry, with a minor in classical studies) was serving as the head of Regatta.
“It was just a phenomenal year for us,” said the junior, who hopes to follow his father, Robert Judge, into a medical career. “Our goal was to create more activities and more sponsorships, and we were able to do that.” Judge had a history with Regatta going into the directorship; he was the head of marketing, Regatta Week and sponsorships for the 2011 race.
“We wanted to get student organizations even more involved for this race (2012) than ever before, and I think we accomplished that,” he added. “We wanted the focus of the day to be more on the our students, with a lot more interactivity. We also wanted to do more with Greek life at IUPUI, to help get freshmen plugged into campus life.”
The Regatta leadership team is very aware of the steady growth the event has enjoyed, and Judge hopes his year at the helm will set Regatta 2013 (Sept. 21) will celebrate the event’s first major milestone, the fifth annual event.
Serving as the student leader of the event required “a lot of detail work,” Judge recalled. “I had to supervise a lot the work, make sure our deadlines were met, and be a resource for others.”
He believes his ability to focus on such details will serve him well if he achieves his ultimate career dream: to be an orthopaedic surgeon. Apart from following in his father’s footsteps, Judge was drawn to the medical profession by a job-shadowing experience in high school. “I got to follow 15 physicians around all day; it was fascinating to watch what they did, and how they worked,” he said.
IUPUI got on his radar screen while he swam competitively for Canterbury, and when he was given the opportunity to become a Bepko Scholar (named for former Chancellor Gerald L. Bepko), he couldn’t resist. “The financial advantages of a Bepko (scholarship) were too good to turn down, and I had a chance to see the new Campus Center go up while I was still in high school. It was exciting to see, and I wanted to be part of it.”
His work as a student ambassador in SOAR only deepened his belief that IUPUI was the right choice. “Because of SOAR, I’ve met so many alumni who have opened my eyes to different career possibilities that are out there for all of us,” Judge said. “Because of SOAR, we get to make contacts that a lot of students don’t get to enjoy.”
His work in IUPUI research labs has been just as vital in charting his professional pathway, too. “I don’t think I full understood just how many research opportunities we have here, and how early you can start (lab work),” Judge said. “It’s an amazing experience to have that level of responsibility and to be part of a team. It is really building a foundation for what I want to do and want to be.”
As a sophomore, he was the president pro tem of the Undergraduate Student Government, working with staff and administration to bring speakers to the USG Senate meetings each week.
His work with IUPUI Regatta, with SOAR and with the Undergraduate Student Government has been a challenge -- “I’ve learned a huge life lesson in time management,” Judge admitted with a laugh -- but it’s had far more benefits than drawbacks. “I’ve been able to meet so many interesting people, make a lot of contacts and do a lot of networking, which I believe will help me throughout my life,” he said.
He considers some time he spent working with Chancellor Charles Bantz and his staff especially informative. “He really knows how to accomplish a huge amount of work in a short amount of time,” Judge said. “That’s a lesson I think I can use wherever my interests take me!”