Interview by: J. Regan, Class of 2010
What made you choose STAC's biology program?
I first heard about STAC's biology program after I had heard about the Honors Program at STAC. I got a letter in the mail regarding the possibility for a full scholarship and I immediately began to research more into STAC. I learned that their Biology Program was taught by full PhD professors and that there were small classes so that there would be a good student to professor ratio, something I prefer to have. I then spoke to one of the College's Representatives at a college information session at my high school, and ultimately visited the school during an Open House, all of which supported my decision to go to STAC.
While you were at STAC what were the most impacting moments, that you can remember, that you still use and refer back to?
This one's a difficult question to answer, as I feel that there were numerous moments that come to mind.
I think one of my most impacting moments was when I was approached by my advisor Dr. Ryan Wynne and asked to be a TA in his Biology Lab. I was honored to have the opportunity and I feel that the experienced that I gained working with him and teaching that class was essential for some of the tutoring and TA work that I have done in medical school.
Another moment was being the President of the Biology Club (now Science Club) and knowing that I was working with a close group of individuals who all shared a common goal of appreciating Biology and ensuring that all of our club members had a good experience while learning something.
My last impacting moment was when the Biology Club held our very 1st Experiment Night. The prior Biology Club President helped us organize the event in which we did numerous cool experiments using house-hold items to make so many interesting things, my favorite of which was the vegetable oil-food coloring lava lamp.
What steps did you take after you graduated STAC? Did anyone from STAC guide you to certain decisions?
After I graduated STAC I learned that I was wait-listed at New York Medical College. I was still waiting to hear back from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, so I contacted one of my former professors Dr. Clara Toth who I knew had experience with guiding students regarding medical school decisions. Fortunately, a few weeks later I was accepted to Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
I received mentoring and guidance regarding my application process from the science department as a whole, but in particular from my advisor Dr. Ryan Wynne as well as Dr. Steven Burns and Dr. Clara Toth.
What were some of your favorite classes at STAC?
Also a very tough question, but my 3 favorite classes at STAC were:
Introduction to Religion with Dr. Craig Martin- I still talk about all of the things that I learned in this class and continue to look back on it as one of my favorites. I distinctly remember running into Dr. Martin at an event over a year later and discussing how well he taught the class.
English Honors II with the late Dr. Jon Roberts- I don't think I've ever had a class in which I was so mentally stimulated and yet was able to have such a good genuine laugh at the same time. Dr. Roberts was able to bring that out in people. He had a very jovial disposition with a depth to himself that was difficult to fully characterize. He would have you deep in thought one moment and literally laughing the next.
Microbiology with Dr. Clara Toth- I still refer to this as my favorite class in the Biology Program at STAC.
What does the future hold for you?
I am currently in my 3rd year of medical school and preparing to start my 4th year (we don't have much of a summer break unfortunately). During my 4th year I will be applying into residency programs for primary care, specifically Family Medicine. I hope to work with the Urban Under-served populations and provide quality care to those with limited access to healthcare.
What made you choose this life path?
There are a couple of reasons behind this answer. My younger sister has epilepsy and had seizures when she was younger, so I was introduced to medicine at a very young age.
I also became interested in science at a very young age which began when I saw The Angry Red Planet a Sci-Fi movie from the 1950s. There was a giant amoeba in the movie and I was immediately fascinated by it. Turns out that next week while my sister was being evaluated by a neurologist my aunt had heard of my interest and bought me an AP Biology review book, bookmarked to amoebas.
It wasn't until my Sophomore year of high school that my love of science and my desire to help people began to solidify into a desire to pursue medicine. I was in my art class and we had just finished painting a still life. Our art teacher was asking us to please clean up as best as possible. To this end he said, "We would all like to leave this world a little bit cleaner than when we came into it." The words struck a cord with me and eventually led to my decision to pursue medicine and ultimately a career in Family Medicine.