news-category: Academics

GWU Senior and Alumnus Intern with Shelby, N.C., Podiatrists

Breanna Littlejohn, '24, poses in front of the Foothills Podiatry Office.

Breanna Littlejohn, ’24, and Katherine Greene, ’23, Observe Surgeries and Learn Techniques

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Every semester, many faculty members at Gardner-Webb University ask professionals to visit their classes to highlight various career opportunities. One of the guests invited by instructor of biology Stacie Smith is Dr. Gretchen A. Lawrence, a podiatrist with Foothills Podiatry PA in Shelby, N.C.

When Breanna Littlejohn, ’24, heard Lawrence talk about podiatry, she was intrigued. An exercise science major, Littlejohn must complete 300 hours of summer learning as part of the program. She decided to intern with Lawrence and has spent time shadowing Lawrence and her partner, Dr. Ron Maskarinec, in the operating room and working at the clinic.  

“Everything I learned at my internship was very valuable,” Littlejohn shared. “I valued being able to watch surgeries and working under Dr. Lawrence and Dr. Maskarinec. I learned a lot of valuable skills, such as interacting with patients, doing X-rays, suturing, using surgery tools, wrapping patients, and charting and documentation. They also educated me on the new medications that will help heal wounds on the foot, and I learned how to write prescriptions.”  

Breanna Littlejohn poses with Dr. Gretchen A. Lawrence,
a podiatrist in Shelby, N.C.

Katherine Greene, who graduated in May 2023 from Gardner-Webb also spent time at the clinic learning more about podiatry. Greene and Littlejohn attended a national advocacy event with U.S. Senators Tom Tillis and Ted Budd, to name a few, to discuss problems affecting podiatrists and their patients and access to care in rural areas.  

Greene and Littlejohn also had an opportunity to meet the American Podiatric Medical Association’s president and other podiatrists at a regional lecture in Charlotte. They were also featured in Podiatric online news, “PM News,” which is a daily online publication that goes out to all podiatrists throughout the nation.  

Littlejohn also worked at Atrium Health Cleveland as a CNA. After her internship, she is interested in pursuing podiatry. Greene is a medical assistant at EventUs Health near Charlotte, N.C., and plans to take the Medical College Admission Test soon and apply to Podiatric Medical School.   

“We are super proud of both young ladies,” Lawrence praised. “We continue to look forward to partnering with Ms. Smith to provide other Gardner-Webb students similar opportunities here in our own backyard of Cleveland County, N.C. Hopefully, together with Gardner-Webb, we can bring some new, young podiatrists back to help practice the profession.”  

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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