Campbell Proud – Marcus

August 14, 2012 | 5 Comments

Learning to cross his t’s and dot his i’s

The doctors who cared for Marcus Ford’s grandmother impacted his life. Today, the senior biology major at Campbell University is working toward impacting other people’s lives.

Marcus Ford was in the middle of filling out his college applications for UNC-Chapel Hill when his mother walked in and asked him, “Have you heard of Campbell?” Marcus had heard of the university in passing but not much. “Well,” his mother said, “let’s just check it out.” The next week, the two visited Campbell. “As I soon as I got here, I felt comfortable,” Marcus says.

Today, he’s a senior biology major at Campbell and on track to graduate in December. During his time here, he has served as the president of the senior class (2011-12), the junior class (2010-11), the biology club, and the student chapter of the N.C. Academy of Science. He has also taught a Biology 111 lab; and this summer, he spent about a month in Tanzania with other Campbell students and faculty as part of a mission trip. He spoke with about his time in Tanzania and his future plans.

What did you do in Tanzania this summer?

We held health clinics. We spent about 10 days at an orphanage, and there were a lot of young kids. We took their weight, blood pressure, and heart rate, and we checked their eye sight, among other things. We also shadowed Dr. Kawira, a U.S.-trained doctor who married a Tanzanian man. She has two clinics: one is primarily for pregnant women, and the other is for everybody else.

What did you learn there?

Dr. Kawira specializes in Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL), a kind of cancer found in children in Tanzania. She actually has an ultrasound at her home. There was a little boy who came in with his father. She told us that she had seen the boy before but didn’t think he had BL, so she sent him to the local hospital. His father told her that the boy wasn’t responding to the regimen that they had set up in the local hospital and that he was ready to stop taking him there. Dr. Kawira did another ultrasound. She said based on what she’s used to, she doesn’t think it’s BL. She said, “You know what I should do. I should call the doctor at the local hospital where I sent him.” The doctor at the hospital explained that it wasn’t lymphoma but another type of cancer, and they set up a longer regimen. If Dr. Kawira had never called that doctor, she never would have been able to explain to the father that he had to keep going back to the hospital in order for his son to get better. I’m not the type of person who always crosses his t’s and dots his i’s. But Dr. Kawira showed me that doing so can be the difference between life and death.

You graduate in December. What’s next for you?

I plan to apply to medical school, and I hope to attend Campbell’s School of Osteopathic Medicine when it opens in 2013. Until then, I’m going to work at the local fire department and be an emergency medical technician. Eventually, I want to open up a clinic in a rural area. That’s one of the reasons why the medical school at Campbell is opening, because they notice there is a lack of care that is available to rural areas.

Why medicine?

The whole reason my family moved to North Carolina was because my grandmother got sick. Just watching the doctors and how they dealt with her really impacted her life—and that impacted my life.

Why Campbell?

Campbell is more than a college; it’s a community. It was a place where I wouldn’t get lost in the sauce. If you want a relationship with your professors and opportunities that may be harder to come by at other universities, then Campbell is the place for you. And to include faith into your learning—it’s even in our mission statement that there’s no conflict between the life of faith and the life of inquiry. That’s special.

Click here to view the Campbell Proud archive >>

Photos by Bennett Scarborough | Story by Cherry Crayton

Marcus inset photo
  • Status: Senior who’ll graduate in December 2012
  • Major: Biology
  • Hometowns: Brooklyn, New York, and Wake Forest, North Carolina
  • High School: Wake Forest-Rolesville
  • Family ties: Marcus’ fiancée, Victoria Ellis, graduated from Campbell in May 2012 and is now a student in the Master of Public Health program. Victoria’s sister, Shannon, is a freshman at Campbell; and Marcus’ sister, Diane, will attend Campbell next year.
  • Where I spend most of my time on campus: I bounce around quite a bit when I’m not in class; I can’t visit with too many friends when I’m in one area.
  • Where I’ve eaten most of my meals on campus: The Oasis
  • My favorite campus memory: The Switchfoot concert was amazing! I was one of the many audience members who were very close to the lead singer Jon. I even have a picture of me helping him traverse the aisles so he wouldn’t fall.
  • The class that made the biggest impact: CUW [Campbell University Worship] is responsible for the biggest impact on my life. It gave me a chance to never let a week go by without acknowledging God in some way.
  • The book I read while at Campbell that changed my life: “Death of a Good Doctor,” which I read in a biomedical ethics course. It depicts the experiences of a female doctor who becomes the director of an HIV treatment center in 1980s Los Angeles. What was impactful was her approach to a totally new disease and how that experience changed her from a good doctor to a great doctor.
  • Why I’m Campbell Proud: I love the caliber of student that Campbell produces. When we arrive as freshmen, we are mismatched and scattered. However, by senior year we are a set of cohesive individuals. I think that the environment Campbell provides helps create that.


Hi Debbie,

Congratulations to you and Marcus.
Tell Marcus I am very proud of him.
I know you’re proud Debbie. 
Best wishes and continue success to Marcus.

By Polly Bascom on August 22, 2012 - 4:16pm

My daughter Hannah is a sophomore at Campbell. We met Marcus during the opening house and new student orientation. He was a student ambassador. I truly believe it is because of Marcus, Hannah becomes a Campbell student. I want to know how he can be so successful in academic while so helpful to others.

Thank you Marcus,

Hannah’s Mom

By Xin Li on August 21, 2012 - 5:51pm

I returned to Campbell for a few pre-requisites in 2010 after graduating from Campbell in 2001.  Marcus was in one of my classes and made me feel just as welcome as an older student as any other.  I then became a peer of Marcus’s as a biology dept. teaching assistant and got to see Marcus in his element teaching others and saw his dedication to preparing for that role each week.  I am now in the 2nd class of Campbell’s PA school.  When Marcus joins Campbell’s DO school, Campbell will be enriched again to have such a great student and I will be lucky to have a great colleague upon his graduation. Congratulations Marcus for all your achievements and for future successes that I am sure to come as well.

By Sandra Alexander on August 21, 2012 - 5:10am

So very awesome. Dr. Ford. Welcome to the Big Boys at Campbell University.

By John on August 20, 2012 - 7:08pm

I am so proud of my nephew Marcus Ford whom I watched blossom into a honorable man. At such an early age Marcus began spelling words that most children wouldn’t outright know how to spell. I recognized his ability to speak and spell so well as a great gift for a child his age.  I knew then as well that he would be academically great during his educational growth. I am elated by the strides he has made, and he will continue to make while studying at Campbell.  I am proud to be apart of such a disciplined, educationally fastened young man.  He is definitely making our family proud and standing on the words we spoke prior to his collegiate years. Your are VICTORIOUS and will continue to AIM HIGH!

By Bonita rcChasten on August 16, 2012 - 6:53pm

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