Patrick Price

When presented with a fork in the road, Patrick Price considered the standard route, then looked at the road less traveled. Ultimately, he decided to take both. “Biology is one of my greatest passions,” says the honors student. “But I love art too. I just couldn’t pick between the two. So, the combination in medical illustration was what I needed—and wanted—all along.”

As one of NIU’s best and brightest, Price has earned one of the university’s most distinct honors: a McKearn Fellowship.

This summer, thanks to the support of alumni John and Cassandra McKearn, Northern offered a pilot session of the McKearn Summer Fellows Program. The program allowed Price and nine other fellows to attend lectures and alumni-sponsored field trips, and participate in engaged learning opportunities centered on research and artistry; leadership development; and civic, social, and global engagement.

By the end of the summer, each fellow completed a faculty-mentored project. Price created several, detailed scientific sketches of wildlife across campus for his final project.

“It shows NIU through the eyes of an art major so people can see how beautiful their campus really is,” he says. He adds that he hopes his work inspires alumni and donors, and reminds them “what is beautiful about their alma mater.”