Class of 2021
Member of the Marymount Women’s Volleyball Team
Why did you choose to attend Marymount University?
I was initially drawn to Marymount because it’s my father’s alma mater. I played volleyball in high school and was recruited to be a member of the Marymount Women’s Volleyball team by Coach Beth Ann Wilson. During my campus visit, I was able to meet her and watch a Men’s Volleyball game. I just fell in love with the whole university.
What sparked your interest in Biochemistry and Mathematics?
I have always been interested in the medical field and when I was in high school, I did well in mathematics and became interested in biology. During my first year at Marymount, one of my professors convinced me to look into biochemistry as a major and I did! I had a great experience with one of my calculus professors and she inspired me to continue with the subject as an additional major. I like math because it’s a big puzzle, and biochemistry is too. Both of these majors have really helped me while conducting research as an undergraduate.
What was the focus of your senior year research project?
I am an Honors Program student, and part of the program includes developing and defending an Honors Thesis. Realizing the enormity of such a research project, I was intimidated. But then I started to think of topics I was genuinely interested in and even felt a personal connection to. I decided to examine retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disorder.
Retinitis pigmentosa runs in my family. My dad actually lost his vision and went blind from this disease. I now understand the various mechanisms that caused him to go blind. Through my research, I found that not enough is known about the genes associated with the disease. It meant a lot to me to uncover the problems that are preventing further research and discovery.
I successfully defended my thesis and presented my research alongside fellow Honors Program students at the 2021 Virginias Collegiate Honors Council (VCHC) Spring Conference.
How did you manage your studies alongside the commitment of the Volleyball team?
When I’m on the volleyball court, it is the biggest adrenaline rush possible. There is no better feeling than doing something that you love.
Finding the time to be a double major with a minor and an athlete on a collegiate team takes a lot of work. I use a planner and try to stay as organized as possible. Being part of the Volleyball team, I think, helped me prioritize the need to be organized because I had to dedicate time to practice and to games, and also manage my time well enough to include studying and research.
When reflecting on your MU experience, what will you remember most?
I will remember my teammates and how we won two championships for Marymount! I will 100 percent remember all of the professors that I had in the Biochemistry and Math departments. I have never met humans that are so dedicated to making a student experience the best it can possibly be! I plan to attend medical school after graduating from Marymount and all of the courses that I’ve taken, I think, have prepared me very well.