First Major: B.S. Biology
Minor: Biotechnology/Bio Engineering
300 Word Statement
On the surface, an ideal student would be one who studies hard, gets good grades, and participates in school activities. But my experience at Lafayette has taught me that there’s more to it. There is a responsibility that one has after obtaining their education. While we are living on campus going about our insular lives and focusing on the aforementioned achievements, we often forget the bigger picture.
An ideal student represents the college in the local community, promotes a positive image of their school, demonstrates school spirit, and assists and mentors other students to help them reach their full potential. I have embodied these ideals through my involvement in volunteering with the elderly, my sorority, as a Social Media Maven, an Official Blogger for my Biomedicine program in Denmark, an ATTIC peer tutor, a Supplemental Instructor, and a member of the Dance Team. But there is more to do beyond the Hill.
As a student here I have embodied the “Cur Non” motto and seized every opportunity to do research, which I never could have done without Lafayette. Working as a researcher has strengthened and cemented my qualities of persistence, dedication, and perseverance, which are some of the most invaluable traits of an ideal Lafayette student. These cannot be listed on a resume.
Alarmingly, the very idea of factual information and science, which is my passion, is under siege in the current political climate. After graduation, I will be pursuing my PhD in Pathobiology at Johns Hopkins University. I feel that my education has been a privilege and I have a responsibility to take all I have learned here and use it to make an impact and inspire others. Now more than ever, the world needs more “ideal Lafayette students” to uphold the values that Lafayette instilled in them.
Academic Activities/Awards – Total Years Involved
- 2016 Goldwater Scholar (1)
In spring 2016, I was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate award given to students in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.
- Science Horizons Program (1)
Monthly meetings held during the fall semester to discuss the field of scientific research. Research was conducted for three weeks during the interim period, and my project was entitled “Comparing Expression of Genes in the TLR4 Pathway Between 4T1 and Dendritic Cells”. Meetings continued during the spring semester to reflect on research experiences, and we were able to present our work in the form of a poster at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Sciences Annual Meeting held at Susquehanna University that year.
- EXCEL Research (2)
In summer 2014, my project was entitled “Using Models to Study the Role of the TLR4 Pathway in Tumor Progression”, and the TLR4 pathway in 4T1 and DCs was studied. The ending of the pathway produces CCL2, which results in inflammation. High levels of CCL2 have been linked to tumor progression. A model was created in a computer program called NetLogo for the TLR4 pathway. Levels of proteins in the pathway could be adjusted, so it was used for DCs as well as 4T1 cells. Levels from previous RNA data were input into the model. The model was used to predict levels of CCL2 production in the different cell lines. Small-scale and large-scale 2D and 3D models were created to test out what changes the different parameters would create and to find which would be the most realistic. / The following summer of 2015, my project was entitled “Studying Transcriptional Regulation of CCL2”. We decided to look at the transcription factors for the CCL2 gene. The gene has a proximal and distal promoter, and both were studied. We wanted to know which transcription factors were the most important in CCL2 production, so we deleted each one separately via site-directed mutagenesis. If the production of CCL2 decreased when a certain binding site was deleted, then that means that that transcription factor was important in the production of CCL2 and vice versa. A better understanding of transcriptional regulation of the CCL2 gene could allow manipulation of transcription factor binding, which could decrease CCL2 levels and slow tumor growth. All of this research was funded by my Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
- LEARN Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center (1)
Worked in the lab of Dr. Glenn Rall, whose primary focus is studying viral infections in the brain and studying the immune response to those infections. The main themes of the research in the lab are spread, latency, and double infections with the measles virus as a model. Managed various tasks in the lab including qPCR, PCR, western blotting, gel electrophoresis, making bone marrow chimeras, genotyping and infecting mice, analyzing data, and more. Assisted with ongoing projects in the lab as well as performed some of my own research. Attended several career development talks, journal club meetings, and research presentations by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows at the Center. Shadowed a Pathologist’s Assistant to see a first-hand look at tissue sectioning and slide preparation in surgical pathology. My research was funded by my Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
- Honors Thesis (1)
For my senior honors thesis, I am working under Dr. Robert Kurt Investigating the effects of concurrent immune challenges, a parasite and a tumor, in mice. I am utilizing tissue culture techniques, mouse work, splenic analysis, qRT-PCR, and more.
- Eugene P. Chase Phi Beta Kappa Prize (1)
Awarded to a sophomore(s) who has demonstrated outstanding scholarship as a first-year student.
- Independent Study in Biology (1)
My project was entitled “Murine mammary carcinoma produce more CCL2 in response to TLR agonist treatment than dendritic cells because of differences in NF-kB level”. I performed ELISA assays in order to quantify the amount of CCL2 being produced by the 4T1 cells and DCs when exposed to different amounts of LPS. Resultswere used to compare to and verify the legitimacy of the computer model. To expand on previousresearch, small-interfering RNAs(siRNAs) were also used to knock out specific genes in the TLR4 pathway in 4T1 cells. By doing this, we could determine which proteins in the pathway played the most critical role in the production of CCL2. This was also used to verify results obtained by lowering concentrations of the different proteins in the computer model. This project culminated in a poster presentation at the 2015 American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.
- Biomedicine Program in Copenhagen, Denmark (1)
Enrolled in the Biomedicine Program for Spring 2016. Took Medical Biotechnology and Drug Development, Immunology, Danish Language and Culture, and History of Sexuality in Europe courses. Traveled to London for one week with core course as a study tour; toured labs, visited pharmaceutical companies, and attended lectures from researchers from various universities. Additional study tour travelled to Western Denmark.
- Sigma Xi (2)
Selected for membership for the Scientific Research Honors Society.
- Dean’s List (4)
Qualified for Dean’s List all semesters of my college career with a cumulative GPA of 4.0.
Campus Service/Activities and Awards – Total Years Involved
- Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority (3)
I am a member of Alpha Gamma Delta and have been since the fall semester of my sophomore year. Throughout my time in the organization, I have served as Correspondence Coordinator for one year, been a member of various committees, and participated in numerous philanthropic opportunities such as Alpha Gam Kan Jam, our chapter’s Girl’s Club at the Boys and Girl’s Club of Easton, Relay for Life, Light in the Night, the JDRF Walk, and more.
- Supplemental Instructor (1)
I served as the SI for Biology 101. I attended all classes and took notes. I worked closely with the professor to design materials for review sessions, which were held weekly. I also held additional weekly drop-in office hours for students to receive more individualized support.
- ATTIC Peer Tutor (2)
I have served as a tutor for Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry II. I hold one hour, weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions with students to help them reach their academic goals in a certain course by going through homework problems, tests, quizzes and notes in a manner tailored to that student’s needs.
- German Club (2)
Attended weekly lunch meetings to chat in German and participated in various German cultural activities each semester.
- LCAP Social Media Maven (1)
As a freshman, I posted on the Lafayette College Prospectives Facebook Page about various subjects about the college and answered online questions from prospective students.
- Lafayette Leadership Institute (1)
Attended a one-day leadership workshop and interacted with various alumni.
Community Service – Total Years Involved
- Pre-Orientation Service Program (POSP) (1)
Accepted into pre-orientation volunteer program through the LANDIS Center for Community Engagement. I volunteered at the Easton Area Senior Center and interacted with and entertained seniors through playing games, sharing meals, and exercise classes.
- Gracedale Nursing Home (1)
Visited Gracedale once a week for two hours. Spent time with residents who do not receive many visitors doing one-on-one activities, brought residents to and from appointments, and worked with patients in the Alzheimer’s and dementia units.
- Art for the Young at Heart (1)
Visited the Easton Health and Rehabilitation Center’s Dementia Ward weekly working with residents on arts and crafts. Also participated in reflection and education events through the Landis Center for Community Outreach multiple times throughout the semester.
- Girl’s Club (1)
Visit the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Easton weekly to facilitate a “Girl’s Club” for young girls at the center with my Alpha Gamma Delta sisters. We play games, do arts and crafts, and act as mentors for the girls.
- Lafapalooza (2)
I planted flowers and did landscaping at Safe Harbor Easton in 2014. This will be the second year I am able to participate.
- Make a Difference Day (1)
I cleaned up the streets of the West Ward in Easton, PA along with prisoners on work release through the Weed and Seed Program in 2015.
- Relay for Life (2)
Participated in the walk and raised money for the American Cancer Society along with my sisters from Alpha Gamma Delta in 2015 and 2017.
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk (1)
Participated in the walk in Philadelphia, PA and raised money for JDRF along with my sisters from Alpha Gamma Delta in 2014. Our philanthropy is focused on diabetes awareness, research and prevention.
- Greater Shiloh Church Food Pantry (1)
Since Alpha Gamma Delta’s philanthropy is transitioning to hunger internationally, for our annual Service Week I personally contacted several food pantries in the Easton area and established connections for future service opportunities. I volunteered at Greater Shiloh Church Food Pantry handing out food donations, and also assisted on a committee for my sorority that ran a food drive and collected food donations from all of the Greek organizations on campus.
Athletics Activity/Award – Total Years Involved
- Dance Team (4)
I auditioned for the dance team, a student run club sport, the fall of my freshman year and have participated every year of my college career. We perform halftime and time out dances at home football and basketball games, in addition to other events such as the dance company recital, Relay for Life, the precision step team’s Haters Step Back, as well as at Yankee Stadium for the 150th Rivalry Game. I served as team secretary for one semester during my sophomore year, which entailed creating and enforcing an attendance policy and assisting the other board members in any way possible.
- Dance Company (3)
I have participated in various dance classes ranging from tap and contemporary to lyrical and pointe during my time at Lafayette. I will also be performing a self-choreographed solo at this year’s dance company recital. I served as the public relations officer throughout my sophomore year, which entailed managing the Lafayette College Dance Company Facebook page and creating flyers to post around campus for various dance company events.
- Lafayette Rec Services GroupFit Classes (1)
I regularly attended several GroupFit classes offered, including BodyPump, BodySculpt, and Cycling.
- SMACked with Color 5K3
Every year that I have been on campus for the event, I have participated in this 5K run by the club Student Movement Against Cancer (SMAC) and donated to the cause.
Special Interest – Total Years Involved
- Biomedicine Student Blogger, Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) (1)
Selected to be the official blogger for the Biomedicine program at DIS. Authored a minimum of one blog post per week, and attended several professional development seminars with the Media and Communications team from DIS throughout the semester. Required to include content about multiple aspects of the study abroad experience within blog posts, including homestay, courses, study tours, independent travel, and cultural experiences.
- Gateway Student (4)
Actively participated in the career exploration process, beginning the first year of college. I attend workshops, programs, and alumni dinners to gather information about career opportunities. One of my favorite events was the Alumni with Science Majors Dinner Panel.
- Residence Life Video Contest – 1st Place (1)
During my freshman year, Residence Life ran a contest asking participants to make videos documenting their residence halls and explaining why they were they best on campus. My roommate, Ashley Scrivanich, and I created a video for Watson Hall and won first place in the contest. The video was featured on the Lafayette website and now has over 11,000 views. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XSHNaKOMvs)