By Elise Romola ’21
Park Scholars each create their own college experience based on their values and interests, and no two scholars’ journeys are the same. Brothers Stanley ’05 and Peyton ’07 Hassinger have both found careers in emergency medicine, but how they arrived at that decision and the work they do greatly differs.
Reflecting on their time as Park Scholars, the Hassingers shared their experiences across a variety of activities. For Peyton, it was the Sailing Club that taught him leadership and management skills. He added that he found a love for philosophy while studying at NC State. Stanley reflected on memories of starting the Krispy Kreme Challenge with other Park Scholars and credits his study abroad trip to Guatemala with helping him decide on a career in medicine.
Both Hassingers share a similar sentiment about the Park Scholarships program and its sense of community. For Peyton, his “most memorable college experiences were all made possible in some way, either directly or indirectly, by the Park program.” He used the resources of friends, older scholars, and mentors to seek advice and find new opportunities. Similarly, Stanley shared how meeting other scholars from all walks of life who were doing impactful things made him more confident in seeking ambitious goals. Both brothers agreed that the Park program was invested in its scholars, and Stanley shared how “that translated…into the freedom and confidence to make some decisions I’m really glad I made.”
After graduation, Peyton attended medical school at Mayo Clinic, where he was able to rotate as a student in Guatemala and continue building relationships he had begun during his study abroad as a Park Scholar. After enjoying philosophy at NC State, Stanley decided to pursue a master’s degree at Virginia Tech. Halfway through, he realized he was “drawn to the idea of developing the skills to connect with one person at a time and help them when they need it most,” and decided to pursue a medical career. Both Hassingers liked that emergency medicine provided time to travel, volunteer, and preparation for any situation.
The Hassingers’ paths continue to differ within emergency medicine. Peyton rotates through three hospitals, serves on the board for the SC College of Emergency Physicians and works as a consulting medical director at Blue Cross Blue Shield. These opportunities allow him to pursue his interest in improving healthcare as a whole. Stanley serves as the assistant program director for the Emergency Medicine Residency Program, which involves guiding and managing 39 residents as they navigate their most difficult years of training, which he likens to the Park Scholarships program.
Looking back, the Hassingers have a few words of wisdom. Peyton advises investing in relationships, as “you’ll forget many of the things you learn in college, but you’ll never forget a meaningful relationship.” Stanley believes you need “to find – and accept – balance.” When you pursue a balance between competing interests like your career path and broad interests, you will sacrifice on both ends, but you will have positioned yourself well to accomplish big goals over a long and fulfilling career.
Peyton ’05 and Stanley ’07 Hassinger have found fulfilling careers while maintaining a balance with the things they’re passionate about. Each created their own path as Park Scholars, but the community they find to be still with them today has helped to shape their life perspective.