NSU Halmos College of Arts and Sciences (HCAS) Alumni
NSU Minor Degree
Honors Transdisciplinary Studies
NSU Undergraduate Date
May 2nd, 2023
Highest Degree Completed
Student, applying to medical schools
NSU has opened doors for me, in ways I never knew they could, and I am so grateful.
I was a non-traditional student, having come to NSU with an associate's degree from across the street at Broward College. I thought I knew how to study and what it was like to research. Boy, was I wrong.
NSU brought me face-to-face with the way I studied and by the end of my three years at this university, I am walking away with improved studying habits and I have also learned the art of self-care and work-life balance. Coming from a single mother and immigrant household, there were many obstacles, yes, but it was getting through them gracefully and diligently that really taught me valuable lessons.
It really took me three years to understand that not everyone's journey is the same and the journey in college (academically) is not a straight line. There were goals I had set for myself before starting college and, in some ways, I am somewhere different than what I anticipated. The most important thing, though, is that I am happy where I am and I would do it all over again if given the chance.
I believe that this is the key to success. You must be passionate about what you're doing, you must find the excitement in it. If you don't, you need to change something to feel that way.
For example, many people would find cellular and molecular biology daunting at even the sound of the name, but it doesn't have to be that way when studying this subject (or any subject, for that matter). It's ok to have fun and make light of something that is traditionally serious and "scientific"...this is what the professor of that very same subject taught me and my classmates. Fully immersing yourself in the subject you are studying is key. (Yes, you might have chosen biology as your major and therefore you enjoy it, but that doesn't mean it is easy and you will succeed on the first try. As with other subjects, it takes time and dedication.).
I would like to share the opportunity that NSU's biology program offered me to be a part of my second year: the SEA-PHAGES program. Through this program, I was able to connect with like-minded peers and professors with one goal in mind: to contribute to the nationwide, undergraduate-level project for biology students to isolate bacteriophages and annotate their genomes. In total, we annotated the genomes of two bacteriophages and the links to our publication (in an academic journal) and to their genomes are listed on this page.
I wish I could include all of my "academic adventures", but I'll keep it short for now.
I would really like to thank my professors, Dr. Emily Schmitt Lavin, Dr. Patricia Calvo, Dr. Julie Torruellas Garcia, Dr. Katie Crump, and Dr. Navdeep Gill for their time in teaching me as well as for their support in my academic journey.
I also thank the Farquhar Honors College and Dean Andrea Nevins as well as former Honors College Dean, Don Rosenblum. The courses offered by the Honors College provided me more insight into our world and society, as well as the people in it (something especially important for a pre-medical student like myself to learn). Some notable honors courses I took were "Genetics and Genealogy" with Dr. James Doan and Dr. Emily Schmitt Lavin, and "Introduction to Protein Modeling" with Dr. Emily Schmitt Lavin and Dr. Arthur Sikora. Both courses also provided me an end-of-the-semester project to talk about and are also linked here, as well as published on the NSUWorks website.
Thank you NSU, and a special thank you to the biology department that welcomed me with open arms and changed my perspective on learning science.