Throughout my life I have been shaped by very unique personal and academic experiences. My academic career started by attending Catholic elementary, middle, and high schools. I was fortunate enough to be able to grow up and progress through my studies with about the same 70 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. In this small environment I was able to thrive as a student leader and discover my passion for learning, especially for science, reading and writing. While it was great to get to know and be close with the same people by time I reached high school I was ready to explore new opportunities and challenges
Many people do not understand why I would choose to attend a high school with only girls, but I am so happy I made the decision to attend Presentation High School more affectionately called Pres. Attending Pres has not only transformed me into a successful student but taught me how to be a strong and independent woman in the classroom and in the world. The unique environment at Pres was able to help me discover my passion for biological science and gave me a multitude of learning and leadership opportunities to pursue it. It also helped me cultivate my passion for community service and helping others. On a service trip to the agriculture fields located in Central California I was able to learn about migrant workers and their rights. This was also when I started to become interested in sustainability and natural health as a way to help people. One of the main problems the migrant farm workers and their families faced was working in the farms and the effects of pesticides on their health and the health of their children.
When I graduated high school and decided to attend Penn State, I was very interested in attending medical school and becoming involved in research. I was awarded a research position in Dr. Andrea Mastro’s lab the second semester of my freshman year through the NASA Women in Science and Engineering Research Program. Throughout my time in Dr. Mastro’s lab I have been able to conduct independent research projects studying metastatic breast cancer in the bone. In April 2014, I traveled to San Diego, CA to present an abstract at the American Association for Cancer Research National Conference. I have also had the opportunity to intern at MedImmune, a biotechnology company located in Gaithersburg, MD. During my internship, I was able to assist the oncology clinical development team with managing their ongoing clinical trials and create an Excel database of all of the current immunotherapy trials. All of my research and internship opportunities have helped me determine that I want to pursue at future career in both medicine and research. This is why my goal is to pursue a future as a clinical researcher and possibly teach at the university level.
In addition to my academic interests I also have a multitude of hobbies and interests. Growing up in California, I was surrounded by people who are not only environmentally conscious but also focused on promoting natural and sustainable practices. It is because of these roots that I continue to be interested in issues of sustainability and natural living. Even though I am farther from home living on the East Coast and attending Penn State, I continue to live as naturally and sustainably as possible. While this may not always be easy as a busy college student, I have made it something I am committed to practicing throughout my life.
At one of my favorite places in San Diego, CA