Madeline Shonka is an entrepreneur who started Co-Immunity, a health tech startup for people with chronic illnesses while a student at Wichita State.
Madeline is one of more than 2,400 students eligible for spring/summer 2022 graduation. Learn more about her time at WSU and what is next for the grad.
Bachelor of Science in Health Management
What made you want to attend Wichita State?
The proximity to home, the size, and the involvement opportunities were what led me to choose Wichita State.
What was been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge in college was being chronically ill. I have lupus which makes life complicated, but thankfully Wichita State has an incredible Office of Disability Services. Communication was key to navigating as a student.
What has been your most helpful learning experience at Wichita State?
With the help of mentors like Rob Gerlach, Tech Transfer and Commercialization executive director, Dr. Suzanne Hawley, College of Health Professions Department of Public Health Sciences professor, and the Center for Entrepreneurship I was able to create a 501(c)(3) non-profit and health tech startup called Co-Immunity for people with chronic illness. It has been an incredible applied learning experience.
What are your plans after graduation?
I moved in April to Minneapolis to pursue Co-Immunity and our newly launched chronic illness symptom tracking app, CoVstat.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic affected your time at Wichita State?
It definitely changed things. As a health management major, I was actually taking an epidemiology class during the beginning of COVID-19 which was incredibly interesting. Dr. Amy Drassen Ham did an excellent job of keeping us informed early on as it first spread before lockdown. She capitalized on the fact that we were going to witness a part of history.
What advice would you give other Wichita State students?
Get involved and try new things. One of my favorite classes was a criminal justice serial killer class.