After Receiving Support from School and Friends, Michael Noltemeyer Offers His Service

Michael Noltemeyer, far right, is director of Yale Student Emergency Medical Services (YSEMS). He is shown here with David Narotsky, YSEMS administrative officer, far left, and Catherine Ly, YSEMS scheduling officer, middle, while covering a shift for the Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society fundraiser

When Michael Noltemeyer MC ’08 was a high school senior, a friend from his hometown urged him to go to a Yale presentation, where he learned about the University’s need-blind admission policy. He applied, got in, and received a generous financial aid package. “Now, I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else,” he said.

In his three years at Yale, Noltemeyer has built his experiences from the network of faculty and friends he met in his residential college and through extracurricular activities. Frank Keil, psychology professor and Master of Morse College, shares Noltemeyer’s passion for hockey, and conversations with Keil led to an internship in the Yale Cognition and Development Lab, where Noltemeyer had his first taste of original research. After working in the lab, he set his sights on a combined M.D./Ph.D. program in neuroscience.

Another connection—again with a fellow hockey player—introduced Noltemeyer to a student organization that is having a similarly profound impact on his education. Yale Student Emergency Medical Services (YSEMS) is an organization that trains emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, on campus. In January, Noltemeyer was elected director of YSEMS, a post he has attacked with characteristic enthusiasm. He is already acting on plans to solidify and expand the organization, with the eventual goal of making YSEMS the first responders to medical emergencies on campus. Other major projects include assisting with free community health assessments at assisted living facilities.

“All of this stuff I’m into here at Yale—the EMT work, my research interests, and my extracurriculars—it’s because of my friends,” he said. “I’d meet someone, start talking with them, and they would help me along.”

In turn, Noltemeyer is extending a hand to the next generation of Yalies. In his spare time, he works with the admissions office, where he gives science tours and writes letters and e-mails to students considering a Yale education. “I know from my own experience that a school like Yale can seem unattainable. In fact, I almost didn’t apply because I thought my family couldn’t afford the tuition. None of this would have been possible for me without financial aid. Without the people who helped me, I would not be where I am now.” He said he tries to tell people what he found out three years ago, “Yale’s goal is to admit the best and brightest of every generation, regardless of need.”

More than 41 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid from Yale each year. The University commits over $60 million to these students, providing an average annual grant of $26,000 per recipient. A centerpiece of Yale Tomorrow is our determination that financial need should deter no one from entering Yale College, the Graduate School, or the professional schools. For Noltemeyer and other talented students, contributions in this area are more important than ever.

(April 1, 2007)

April 1, 2007