In 1989, women with already established careers were not generally encouraged to attend medical school. But, Laura Trice, MD, a single mother of three and a nurse of 15 years, dreamed of becoming a physician.
Dr. Trice decided to take science classes at NKU in preparation for medical school, all while working two 16 hour shifts at Jewish Hospital on the weekends.
“I think the theory, at that time, was that if you were already a nurse, you should stay a nurse. I wouldn’t have considered myself a risk-taker until that point in my life.” Dr. Trice says.
She remembers being asked in her first medical school interview how she would get her laundry done. “I’m pretty sure if a man showed up, divorced with three children, that question would have never come up.” Dr. Trice says.
Her hard work paid off, and she was accepted into medical school, where she thrived. Her experience spending 15 years at her patients’ bedside as a nurse, made her an excellent physician.
Dr. Trice went on to an incredible career, serving as a geriatrician caring for a frail elderly population in Cincinnati. She currently serves as President of the TriHealth Physician Hospital Organization (TPHO).
Dr. Trice and her husband Larry Giesmann, Ph.D, are at a place in their lives to give back. And they want to give back to NKU.
“We want to pass it on to the university that helped us both. Laura prepared for medical school here. My decision to come here and teach was the best decision of my life,” says Dr. Giesmann.
Dr. Giesmann, a professor of Botany, came to NKU in 1972 and never left. He coached wrestling, taught Botany, and served as associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. But, perhaps the role he is most known for – is the founder of the pre-professional review board for medical school. Dr. Giesmann created the board in 1974, and it put NKU on the map as a feeder school for University of Louisville School of Medicine, University of Cincinnati Medical School, and University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
He chose to stay at NKU for 37 years and quite frankly hasn’t really left, because, “there’s still stuff to do.”
Three years ago, Dr. Giesmann and Dr. Trice endowed a scholarship for a student-athlete on the men’s cross-country team. Their children had run cross-country. But, they wanted to do more.
Last year, Dr. Giesmann and Dr. Trice decided to create The Dr. Laura Trice Pre-Med Scholarship at NKU. The scholarship was born out of a desire to serve students in the same position Laura once was: non-traditional female students pursuing careers as medical doctors.