For SMU senior Dylan DeMuth, a “no” from an SMU professor changed his life. When Professor Eric Bing told DeMuth he was not yet qualified to enroll in his global health class, he gave the premed student a challenge to “improve your grades and call me in a month.”
He also asked DeMuth a rhetorical question: “How would you avoid getting malaria if you went to Africa?”
“Get a malaria vaccine?” DeMuth suggested.
“No. To keep from getting malaria, you must start taking anti-malaria medicine a week before you go to Africa,” Bing said.
DeMuth got the point. A sophomore chemistry and economics major with a 3.0 grade point average at the time, he sought tutoring before his midterm exams, instead of waiting until he was struggling with challenging science and math courses. He met with Bing a month later to report improvement on his midterm tests – the beginning of a mentorship that inspired DeMuth to re-choreograph his life.
Now a senior ready to graduate, he is teaching global health workers in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and the United States the life-changing philosophy Bing taught him.