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USciences Students, Snider Hockey Alumnae Discuss STEM Education

By Rosie DiGironimo

Published on September 9, 2020

Snider Hockey AlumniUSciences’ Center for Undergraduate Research and Office of  Institutional Advancement, in collaboration with the Franklin Institute and The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation have been holding a series of virtual STEM talks and activities that are part of “Sparking STEM Explorations and Connections.” On Thursday, July 23, 2020, USciences undergraduate students that are also alumni of Snider Hockey, spoke on a panel sharing their college experiences and answering questions.  

Dianelle Delgado BMS’24, an incoming student at USciences, was the moderator of the virtual panel alongside peers, Katrina Chavez PHTX’21, Lauryn Hauler BMS’22, and Ann George PhamD’22. 

Chavez, who commutes to campus from South Jersey, was attracted to USciences because of its unique pharmacology toxicology program. “There are only four other schools at the time that offered this program as an undergraduate, and knowing my ultimate plan is to go to medical school, I wanted to pursue a major that would give me an edge as a student,” she said. “I didn’t know at first if I wanted to go into research or if I wanted a more clinical approach to my degree, so having possibilities was great!” 

Hauler, who transferred to USciences her second year, was captivated by the intimacy that USciences offered. “Knowing that I wanted to pursue medical school, I chose USciences because the classes were smaller and had greater opportunities for personal relationships with professors and classmates.” The University’s focus on science and healthcare was also attractive to Hauler as she feels there are more opportunities to be successful and gain experience needed for medical school acceptance. 

George said her AP courses in high school provided her with a great foundation for her college courses. “The information was familiar and though it was more complex, because I had studied the topics before it was much easier to grasp,” she said.

The diversity in the pharmacy curriculum is also a challenge and sparks her passion in the field. “USciences doesn’t just give retail pharmacy as the only career option, instead the curriculum explores all kinds of fields, whether it is drug research, other paths in research, or clinical settings,” she said.  

The panelists agreed that USciences’ small size helped them gain research opportunities. At a bigger school getting into a research lab is more difficult because you are competing against graduate level students, they said. “From day one professors encourage students to be involved, whether it is just shadowing or physically diving right in,” said Hauler. 

The advisors at USciences help students personalize a learning plan and also help finding research that interests you, they said. 

Students can add a minor to their academic plan and diversify themselves, said Chavez. “I have a minor in Spanish for Healthcare, which is so useful and will be very attractive on a resume,” she said. 

“USciences helped me feel more confident. There is so much support from professors and your peers,” Hauler said. “Knowing that we are all doing the same thing and have the same goal is motivating. Everyone at USciences works together and helps each other to succeed. I have never felt like I was seen less because of being a female.”

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