Student Success Stories

Trevor York ’11

Trevor York

  • Claremont, NH
  • Major: Biology
  • Minor: Communication Arts

“When I first arrived in Turkey for the EL Travel Seminar, I was amazed at the culture I had a chance to experience. Our project was to analyze Turkey’s process of applying for acceptance into the European Union and the citizens’ overall feelings toward the process. Given the limited number of libraries in Turkey, my group members and I realized we had one of the greatest resources in front of us: the Turkish people. We went out into various communities and talked to many people. Going to Turkey and doing this project taught me how to be resourceful by attaining information from the wealth of knowledge the Turkish people had. It also challenged me to go outside of my comfort zone. I had the opportunity to interact with people of different cultural backgrounds, which is essential in practicing medicine, my ultimate career goal.”

Derek Dye ’11

Derek Dye

  • Frostburg, MD
  • Majors: Political Science/Public Health

“Seeing the faces of the uninsured everyday at Meadville Medical Center’s Community Health Services and the Meadville Area Free Clinic enhanced my ability to combat structural violence in creative ways. While working with rural Crawford County’s most vulnerable populations, I am able to apply the social, economic and scientific principles I learn every day in the classroom to a real world problem. I have become a leader in implementing solutions to what are, often times, very complex problems. Because of Allegheny’s strong offering of courses dealing with the social aspects of medicine, I am now qualified to see what kind of marketing strategies or institutional changes could effectively market the rural health clinics to the populations for which they were designed. Because of my community-based experiences coupled with my academics, I know that I am equipped to be a leader in the policy and management realms of health care someday as a rural physician.”

Nam Hoang ’11

Nam Hoang

  • San Jose, CA
  • Major: Biology
  • Minor: Spanish

“Living in rural Matagalpa, Nicaragua, for six weeks changed me; the lack of running water and electricity, as well as the overall poverty, made me see my privileges. Living a life without TV shows, the Internet and my iPod took away the screen that too often covers our eyes and our lives. Although I had trouble with the language barrier at first, keeping my ears and mind open helped me connect with my wonderful host family and community. Whereas medical practitioners can sometimes forget the human side of medicine, I now have a strong desire to connect with people while working in medicine. My summer volunteering with Amigos de las Américas and living with my wonderful host family helped me realize what’s important: people. The sincere relationships we have with those we meet, love, and care about make life exponentially richer.”

Marisa Frey ’10

Marisa Frey

  • Newfields, NH
  • Major: Communication Arts
  • Minor: Values, Ethics and Social Action

“As an intern at the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, I designed and promoted materials for one of their annual national meetings. I also had the opportunity to write a Policy Options Issue Brief on Low-Income Heating Assistance in Crawford County that closely tied to my work as a VESA minor and my work in the Meadville community. My policy research showed me startling disparities between the experts in the field articulating the various means of receiving government aid and those searching for help. These discoveries led to my senior project on the rhetoric surrounding the avenues for receiving low-income heating assistance in Crawford County. All of this work has guided me to seek a career that will help me walk in the experiences of challenged populations and to organize and empower communities to seek creative strategies to overcome adversity.”

Brittany Johnson ’12

Brittany Johnson

  • Donora, PA
  • Major: Chemistry/Pre-Health
  • Minor: Dance and Movement Studies

“At the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program at Case Western University, I learned that conducting research in a group as we do at Allegheny is essential. I needed to know how to work together to find a solution to a problem while being able to back up my reasoning. As Dr. Haney from Case Western School of Medicine stated, ‘You all are packing for the overhead bin.’ In other words, I am preparing myself to solve patients’ problems both successfully and realistically. I learned far more at SMDEP than just the science behind medicine. It is important to remember that we are all people first. The science provides the fundamentals, but the ability to understand an individual is what brings the two together.”

Sylvia Kauffman ’10

Sylvia Kauffman

  • Washington, DC
  • Major: Biochemistry
  • Minor: Philosophy

“My experience as a volunteer for Unite for Sight was a perfect example of why a balanced education is crucial. For a rural hospital in a developing area to be effective, leaders need to combine scientific knowledge, management skills, political science, economics and psychology in order to coordinate an effective and sustainable health care delivery system. My experience in India gave me confidence that my academic work in biochemistry and philosophy will help me positively contribute. Spending a month in a rural hospital reinforced my desire to study public health and obtain a medical degree. It changed my life vision and reminded me that effective health care must be long-term and sustainable, and that a transitory and temporary approach to health care delivery is not the most effective.”

Matthew Kaunert ’11

Matthew Kaunert

  • Economy, PA
  • Major: Biology
  • Minor: Environmental Writing

“Throughout my herpetological internship in Florida, I witnessed the lectures from my biology courses 
come to life. Aspects of ecology and evolution popped up quite frequently as we conducted our various research projects. This experience has vividly displayed that learning in a classroom is one thing and witnessing things firsthand is another. Being part of real-life biological study excited and fulfilled my expectations, and as I saw my schooling manifest itself in a more tangible form, it has also given me a renewed level of respect and excitement for the value of studying biology in the classroom. Furthermore, I established contacts that could pay big dividends in the future in regards to graduate school and employment. This experience also fostered a determination within me to attend graduate school for herpetology. Working with such species that I had only previously seen in books allowed for many boyhood dreams to become a reality.”

Katelyn Kelly ’11

Katelyn Kelly

  • Gibsonia, PA
  • Major: Neuroscience
  • Minor: Values, Ethics and Social Action

“This summer, Allegheny gave me the opportunity to volunteer at Mountain Adventure Camp in North Carolina, an overnight camp for kids and adults with autism. Everything I learn at Allegheny has real-life applications: my psychology courses, my VESA courses, service-learning courses, and numerous community service opportunities as a Bonner Scholar. During my summer of service, I learned more about autism than I ever thought possible. Though not all of my classes specifically talk about autism, what we do learn overlaps with how I do my work and the passion that I have for it. In addition to my academic work, I have also learned some important life lessons. Whether it is through my learning in the community or in the classroom, I have learned so much about what I want to do and also about myself as a person. My work at the Autism Outreach Center in Meadville has strengthened my passion and reaffirmed the goals that I have for my future.”

Jessica Kenemuth ’10

Jessica Kenemuth

  • Waterford, PA
  • Major: Neuroscience
  • Minor: History

“I spent two weeks of my summer doing dental work in low-income communities in Nicaragua. As a pre-dental student at Allegheny, I spend a lot of my time studying biology and working out chemistry problems, so it was refreshing to work hands-on in the field to reinforce what I’m doing in college to reach my goal. The people there truly appreciated the work that we did, making the experience so fulfilling. We worked in small churches, clinics and hospitals doing cleanings, fillings and extractions for people of all ages. I had the opportunity to do an extensive amount of hands-on work with the Nicaraguan dentists’ supervision, including drilling teeth, setting fillings, giving fluoride treatments and even extracting a tooth! My volunteer work has certainly reassured me that I am pursuing the right career.”

Edayatu Lamptey ’10

Edayatu Lamptey

  • Accra, Ghana
  • Major: Political Science
  • Minor: Biology

“I have always believed that service and policy-making are important tools for the transformation of communities. While volunteering in Washington, D.C., I developed meaningful relationships with the people I tutored and heard their powerful life stories. This experience challenged me to focus on public policy on a global scale and put me on a career path that will enable me to combine my passion for service with immediate and real-world action to help alleviate the problems of underprivileged individuals in society. Both in my home country and at Allegheny, I have been drawn to public service, participating in programs such as the Alternative Spring Break trip to Cranks Creek, Kentucky. Service feeds the soul of the person serving and also of those receiving the service. It has given me the opportunity to appreciate and learn the importance of humanity and human equity, two ideals I hope to implement into society in my career field.”

Matthew Neckelmann ’10

Matthew Neckelmann

  • Long Beach, CA
  • Major: International Studies
  • Minor: German

“Entranced by China’s overnight modernization, the course Government and Politics of China led me to pursue a two-month internship in Shanghai. I sought and received an internship with That’s Shanghai, a magazine catering to Shanghai’s expatriate community. After working with them for a month, I co-wrote the May cover story with the editor and authored a number of articles and blogs. My firsthand experience in China continues to supplement my coursework studying Asia, and I’m still writing for my beloved magazine. In Shanghai, it’s pretty simple to be seduced into thinking that anything is possible. I’m a believer, and I feel empowered. I didn’t just bring back some pretty pictures and publications from this experience. I have a firmer sense of direction, and I can’t wait to get back to China.”

Geno Raggi ’10

Geno Raggi

  • Washington, PA
  • Major: Biochemistry
  • Minor: Philosophy

“My summer experience connected my classroom knowledge with my eventual career in medicine. I learned how to apply the skills that I developed at Allegheny to a laboratory project that fascinated me. After volunteering at the Muscular Dystrophy Association camp, I wanted to aid in finding therapies for individuals suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. I learned a great deal and conducted meaningful research toward new and exciting therapeutics. What I learned in the lab will be invaluable to my career. I was exposed to the frontiers of the research community, and I have the desire to push the frontiers further.”

Julia Rozewicz ’12

Julia Rozewicz

  • Apollo, PA
  • Major: Environmental Studies
  • Minor: Religious Studies

“It is important to understand both the science that underlies all ecological processes and the social issues that are impairing these processes. The Northern Europe EL Tour focused primarily on these issues, how to pinpoint them, and how to solve them. Additionally, the tour merged economics and policy with science and technology to give the students a better understanding of why all are equally important in protecting the finite biospheres of our planet. The most important thing this trip did for my future was give me a more worldly perspective of problem solving. The ability to think critically and maintain an open mind is two qualities highly praised in a progressive field like environmental science. From my experience in Europe, I was able to explore possibilities in economics, policy, and technology.”

Ashley Teal ’10

Ashley Teal

  • Yuma, AZ
  • Major: Communication Arts
  • Minor: Values, Ethics, and Social Action

“Living in Kenya for nine months has left a permanent impact on me. I’m very interested in social activism and public relations in the non-profit sector, and in Kenya I was able to work alongside groundbreaking organizations and assist in designing a new program in the town where I lived. The experience was priceless and has expanded my understanding of social activism and non-profit public relations to a global level. My experience didn’t just assist my academic work; it has redirected and connected it on a personal level. The time and experiences I had in Kenya reinforced my passion for service and opened my eyes to the possibility of an international career in a non-profit organization. Seeing the world and exposing myself to different cultures and places has played a huge role in creating the person I am today and the person I want to be throughout the rest of my life.”

Brittany Wynn ’12

Brittany Wynn

  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Major: Political Science
  • Minor: Environmental Studies

“Studying sustainable development in Northern Europe has helped me see that the environmental policies I covered in my courses can be effective. I also have learned about different sources of renewable energy. Going to Europe to learn more about wind turbines from the people who actually own them is an experience I will never forget. Before leaving for Europe, I knew I wanted to be an environmental attorney. My EL Seminar helped me realize that I want to study both national and international environmental policies. Not only do I want to be an environmental attorney, but I also want to be an advocate for the environment on a global scale.”

Tinamaria Colaizzi ’11

Tinamaria Colaizzi

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Major: International Studies/Communication Arts
  • Minor: Chinese Studies

“As a result of the EL Travel Seminar I participated in this past summer, I learned many valuable lessons. I gained a new understanding of the world in which I live and learned what it means to be a citizen of the global community. Without having the chance to attend the Travel Seminar (China’s Global Cities), my interest for studying abroad in Beijing for a semester would not have flourished. I now plan to study in China next semester and work to perfect my fluency in the Chinese language. I hope to use these experiences to become a foreign journalist or correspondent. However, no matter what career I choose to pursue, I know that studying abroad will be a lifelong tool of learning.”