Community College: Montgomery County Community College
Area of Study: Biology (Molecular Medicine/Molecular Genetics); earned departmental honors
Involvements: Student Athletic Trainer
Why did you decide to enroll at a community college and then to pursue a liberal-arts education? And why Dickinson?
When I separated from the United States Marine Corps, I knew that I had to do something out in the civilian world that was as bold as my character. However, I hadn’t done very well in high school. As a consequence, I knew that I had to hit the higher-education path with the discipline I had learned as a Marine. I started off at Montgomery County Community College with the goal of returning to the real world with a better standard of living. I chose biology in community college because I knew that, as a Marine, the method of winning wars is often the destruction of life. I became fascinated with biology when I realized how fragile, how complex and how beautiful life is in our universe. After excelling in community college, I chose to transfer to Dickinson because this college was incredibly enthusiastic about accepting me. I appreciated their enthusiasm and felt that Dickinson really wanted to become a part of my success story, and thus I wanted to become a part of Dickinson’s story.
Is there a particular academic experience during your time at Dickinson that stands out as most meaningful/influential?
My work with Professor Tiffany Frey of the biology department has probably been my most transformative academic experience here. Dr. Frey pushed me not only to be a student of biology but to become a scientist ready for the world. As my advisor, she pushed me to seek internships and to pursue departmental honors, and she really just wanted me to reach my maximum potential here at Dickinson in order to make a mark beyond the limestone—in medical school and beyond!
How did your participation in extracurricular opportunities help you become integrated into the social community at Dickinson? And how were those extracurricular involvements critical to your Dickinson experience?
As a student athletic trainer for the Dickinson Red Devils, I was able to pursue a medically relevant experience at the undergraduate level. However, working with the athletes not only helped my skills as a budding health-care provider but also pushed me into a new network of social groups that I would otherwise not have experienced in the more academic-focused settings around campus. Student athletic training helped me secure a seat in medical school, and I will never forget to appreciate the experience.
How have you been influenced by the Dickinson network, and how do you plan to give back to the college as a member of the alumni community?
Dickinson is ready to push me into the great beyond with the network of faculty and alumni, as people say, “watching my back.” We take care of our own back at the community college, and the same goes here at Dickinson. When I have made my mark on the world, I know that I cannot forget those who helped me to get to the top. Not only will I give back monetary gifts to these institutions, but I plan to take an active role in helping other students like me reach their most ambitious goals. Fortune often favors the bold, and I know that there are other bold men and women starting off at community college that might feel daunted by the road to the top. Whether it is financial hardship or academic hardship, I want to help them realize that the top of the mountain is attainable as long as they are willing to start the journey and keep moving forward.
What are your plans for post-graduation?
This summer, I will be attending the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa. I plan on entering a surgical field of medicine, but I know my future career as a physician will follow the most manifest path. I plan to do a lot more traveling in the next chapter of my life, considering I have never left these United States. However, aside from travel for leisure, I plan to help bring the gift of medicine to those around the globe who need it most.