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News 2 > Global Student Prize - Finalists > 2023 Finalists Global Student Prize > Kate France

Kate France

19 Jul 2023
United States of America
2023 Finalists Global Student Prize

Kate comes from one of the poorest counties in the state of Minnesota – a town with “more cows than people”. When she was growing up, she thought women could be nurses, teachers or farmers – there were no female role models in STEM. Her mother was a teacher for at-risk students, and fought a constant battle against the cycle of poverty and abuse that many children in the area faced. However, Kate pushed herself to think beyond these confines. During her school years, she made the time to travel to science competitions; later, she graduated college a year early with two advanced degrees. She is now a second-year student at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and on her way to fulfilling her dreams. 

Kate is also an inventor, and her innovation has been to create a new type of medical bracelet that uses QR codes: these can hold much more information than a standard medical bracelet and can also be manufactured for a fraction of the usual cost (which is usually over $100). The initial idea for this product came early in her high school career, and since then she has run trials demonstrating its speed and efficiency against standard bracelets. Her project has earned national and international recognition, has been the subject of multiple publications, and is being developed for commercialization through the University of Minnesota. Kate now also owns her own medical technology company and has filed multiple patents.  

Having created something that will save lives and make the world a better place, Kate has also given back to her community in other ways. She currently serves as the Operation Heart coordinator for the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and, in partnership with the American Heart Association, runs programming for students to learn how to live heart-healthy lifestyles. She also serves the American Heart Association at the national level as a student representative, offering her voice for unique programming on topics such as smoking cessation, healthful cooking, and medical innovation. After graduation, Kate hopes to pursue a residency in patient-focused care in an ambulatory setting. Her ambition is to hold a dual practice appointment with the University of Minnesota and live her childhood dream of being addressed as Doctor Professor. 

If she wins the Global Student Prize 2023, Kate will use the funds to set up a scholarship foundation to support students from her hometown who are interested in pursuing higher education – whether in a traditional four-year college, trade school, or apprenticeship. Kate already runs a mentorship program to pair college-aged students with young people in rural and Indigenous communities: some Prize funds would also go towards widening the scope of this program and helping create a better future for the next generation. 

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