Coming from a large public high school, and wanting to be on a pre-med track, I knew it would be important to have a close-knit environment in the sciences.
"I started my college search by debating on whether or not to even apply. Coming from a large public high school, and wanting to be on a pre-med track, I knew it would be important to have a close-knit environment in the sciences. So when I found Bucknell, with its small student-to-faculty ratio and outstanding science departments, I applied early decision and got in!
"First semester I struggled. Biology majors really have a tough start with courses like Organic Chemistry and Calculus during their first semesters. I also got the chance to do research with Marie Pizzorno-Simpson and Emily Stowe. They're both amazing professors who make class fun. For a class called Phage Hunters, we collect a soil samples from our favorite spots on campus. Mine is the academic quad. Then we discover our own phages — which are bacterial viruses. These are viruses that infect bacteria and burst the cells. In medicine, they sometimes use phage therapy where they would apply those viruses to kill bacteria in humans. So we get to do our own, hands on, research while discovering something new.
"Outside of class my first year I did Building on Foundations. I had a great opportunity to meet people through that program which provided leadership building activities. I probably wouldn't have decided to run for Bucknell Student Government class representative or gotten elected if it weren't for that program. I also did BACES, an alternative spring break trip. We went to the Dominican Republic to work at a medical clinic and do food drives, medical drives and toy drives. I remember I gave one of my little brother's toys, which he no longer cared for, away to this child who cherished it. This trip helped me really appreciate everything I had a lot more. The medical drive was also really interesting because it showed me that this is really what I want to do with the rest of my life — help people."
Kenia is from Silver Spring, Md.Posted March 27, 2013