Prepared for Ph.D. Pursuit

Rizwan Saffie ’14 and Myungsun Shin ’14 returned to campus to share their graduate school research experience. Both alums fourth year Ph.D. candidates.

Rizwan Saffie '14 addresses the crowd during his talk with Myungsun Shin '14 about their Ph.D. candidacies. Photo by Joe O'Neill.

Two former science majors see Dickinson as perfect launch pad for advanced scientific research

video by Joe O'Neill

One is in his fourth year as a Ph.D. candidate in cancer biology at the University of Pennsylvania, and the other is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia studying how fat is regulated in the immune system. But both Rizwan Saffie '14 and Myungsun Shin '14 agree that Dickinson was the perfect launch pad for pursuing a Ph.D. in advanced science.

"The research experience I had at Dickinson, and the relationships I formed with various professors, helped prepare me to apply to graduate schools, talk about my research and land interviews with various schools as well as gain admission into various schools," says Saffie, who majored in biochemistry & molecular biology at Dickinson and now studies lymphoma and other blood cancers.

The two returned to campus recently to talk to current students about where their Dickinson education took them. As they discussed the work they are doing in their graduate programs, they reflected on the impact Dickinson's useful liberal-arts education had on them. "I originally came to Dickinson thinking that I would major in biology, but in terms of curriculum, I had a lot of freedom in choosing different classes, so I got to take chemistry, neuroscience and developmental biology courses," say Shin, who majored in chemistry. "I think [that] helped me a lot in navigating through what kind of research topic I wanted to target."


Published April 9, 2018