Meet Justice Spriggs '19
To find fulfillment, this biochemistry alum first had to find balance
Justice Spriggs, a Hamline biochemistry graduate of 2019, is an expert at taking two passions and merging them into one. As a science-minded kid in a family of teachers, he wanted a way to blend the joys of education and his fascination with science; as a talented football player, he knew he'd have to balance his passion for the sport with his long-term career goals.
When Hamline football coaches reached out to recruit Spriggs as a high schooler and began attending his games, he decided to tour campus and found that Hamline was a place where he could pursue his academic and athletic goals with ease. "They showed me it was possible to do both," he said.
He dove headfirst into campus life, joining Hamline's pre-health club and starting a student-athlete health and wellness initiative in his spare time. Balancing his football schedule with his studies was a challenge, Spriggs recalled, but his professors and coaches worked with him to balance academics, athletics, and work. His coaches and professors like Betsy Martinez-Vaz (a biology and biochemistry professor) and Larry Masterson (a former chemistry professor) provided much-appreciated help, Spriggs recalled. He also applied for and received financial aid that helped him focus on his studies.
As Spriggs progressed in his studies, he discovered his interest in primary care, both for "the connections they're able to make with their patients and the difference they make in patients' daily lives."
Spriggs is now on his way through medical school at the University of Minnesota and looks forward to connecting with the community of patients at his future practice.
"That's a really important part of being in the medical field—not only providing medical care, but advocating for patients," Spriggs said. "It's a good way to combine my enjoyment of science and connecting with people."
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