Honors student heads for medical school
Rivers Woodward graduated from UNC Chapel Hill on May 8 with honors in Biology and Theater. During his Chapel Hill years he was active in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the coaching of Special Olympics and set up a clowning program at the UNC Pediatric Hospital. He traveled to Haiti, Nicaragua and Guatemala to perform service work, has appeared in several Chapel Hill theater productions, and has been president of the student Club Racquetball team. Rivers brought Patch Adams to Chapel Hill in April for a student/faculty workshop and several talks on human relationships.
Perhaps most significant was the semester Rivers took, through the sponsorship of the Phillips Scholarship, to study Eastern methods of healing and medical practice in Asia. He traveled alone through India, Nepal and China, planning his own logistics, making his own contacts and working with medical professionals of different disciplines in each of those countries. Upon his return to Chapel Hill, he wrote a 135-page book, Journeys in the Orient: Healing, Spirituality, and the Plurality of Truth, which documented many of the practices he had learned, as well as his philosophy of how these methods might complement each other, as well as Western medical practices.
Having homeschooled prior to attending Chapel Hill, Rivers will take a gap year to explore new territory, both geographical and intellectual, as he prepares to start medical school in the fall of 2012.