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Spotlight: Unicoi's Stiltner wants to be a trauma surgeon

Douglas Fritz • Apr 29, 2018 at 5:02 PM

This is the seventh segment of our spring sports Scholar Athlete Spotlight, a chance for some of today’s brightest high school athletes to answer several random questions. Some of the questions will be challenging, some will be light-hearted and some will be serious.

The Rylee Stiltner File

Senior at Unicoi County High School

Softball, shortstop

• GPA: 3.97

• ACT: 28

• Favorite Netflix show: “Friends”

• Favorite song: “Picture” by Kid Rock

• Person I admire: My mother, April Jones

• College choice: East Tennessee State University

Interesting Facts

• National Honor Society

• Health Occupation Students of America

• Beta Club

• Observational intern at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital in the ER, and at Sycamore Shoals Hospital in the surgical department

• Would like to become a trauma surgeon

The Four Questions

1. If you could choose one career from the time you graduate college until you are 40 years old, and a second career from age 40 to retirement, what would the careers be and why would choose those two?

“My two largest passions in life are the medical field and softball,” Stiltner said. “My dream for the future is to become a trauma surgeon. If I had to pick a career to follow until I was 40 and pick a different career from 40 to retirement, I would be a trauma surgeon until I was 40, and I would coach softball from 40 until I retire.”

2. You’ve been selected as a juror for a murder trial. Eleven of the jurors are convinced the man is guilty. The evidence seems to back them up. The only thing holding you back is a gut feeling about the only piece of evidence that seems shaky. How long would you hold out and why?

“According to the Constitution, not only do citizens have a right to a fair and speedy trial, but citizens are also innocent until proven guilty. In a murder case especially, it would be a tragedy to put someone innocent away. I would trust my instincts. If there was any doubt in my mind, I would hold out until I was 100 percent sure the man was in fact guilty no matter the other jurors’ opinions.”

3. As part of a reality television show, you have been given the funding to make a movie. You can select the cast and direct the movie. Describe the plot of your movie in 50 words or less, reveal the male and female leads and tell where the movie would be filmed.

“If I had to make a movie from a reality TV show, I would base it off people who are hiking the Appalachian Trail. For the movie, I would cast Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston (because I love “Friends”) as the male and female leads. The couple would embark on the long journey of the trail until they accidentally witness a murder along their way. The movie would show their skills of survival in the wilderness, and from the murderer out on the loose, too.”

4. What is the best advice you could give the Class of 2018 in terms of what they should do in college? Should they focus only on studies and graduating? Or should they enjoy every aspect of college life even if it means a little lower GPA? Should they split 50-50 between the two?

“The best advice I could give to the Class of 2018 is to stay focused on your goals. College is a time where students make some of the most important decisions of their lives. Doing well in college is vital to one’s future. Whatever one’s career may be, it begins with getting the proper education. In my case, medical schools only accept those with a high GPA and MCAT score. As distractions come about, it is pertinent that students stay focused and keep their eyes on the goal. The college experience is not necessarily a bad thing, but academics should always be the priority.”

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