Walton threw herself into academic and extracurricular life at UVM. Among other activities, she served as coxswain on the UVM men's crew team for three years. Perhaps her most salient experience was a semesters-long research project that connected her interests in history and medical science. The project eventually became her senior honors thesis “The Guinea Pig Club: Social Support and Developments in Medical Practice.”
Her research took her to East Grinstead, England, just outside London, to explore primary documents about the Guinea Pig Club, an international group of mostly British Allied airmen who suffered burns in World War II. The men recovered through holistic treatment techniques and the surgical skills of Dr. Archibald McIndoe at Queen Victoria Hospital.
“I was intrigued both by the social facet of the project—the need for these men to cope with the pain and horror of what they’d witnessed—as well as the medical component. McIndoe was treating both the psychological and surgical sides of his patients.”
A CAS APLE Award and a department of history Goran Grant paid Walton's travel expenses to the United Kingdom. “That was key support,” said Walton. “I’m really grateful for the opportunities I had at UVM through funded research.”
Walton is looking ahead to enter medical school in the fall of 2022, after taking time to pursue interests outside of the realm of academics.