Matt Zaborowski ’17 Attends Dental School Program


The desire to pursue a career in the dental field has been a lifelong goal for pre-dental student Matt Zaborowski ’17. The global health studies major and biology minor attended the 2015 Discover Dental School Program held at Stony Brook University’s School of Dental Medicine located in Long Island, NY. Sixty undergraduate students from 50+ universities from the United States and Canada participated in this event from August 2 -7, 2015.

This week long program, in its third year, is designed to give pre-dental students hands on experience in the growing profession of dentistry, including exposure to simulated patient interactions, operative techniques as well as exposure to the most innovative technologies of the profession and corresponding specialties.

Zaborowski recounts his experience where he states, “During the week I performed activities (on simulators) that 3rd and 4th year dental students learn about. I performed a pulpectomy (root canal), crown preparation, repairing and restoring cavities, placing implants, administering Novocain, and inserting an IV. We then had a day where we participated in a specialty boot camp that included orthodontic work, such as placing orthodontic brackets; periodontal procedures; endodontics, and oral surgery.”

When asked what his favorite part of this program was, Zaborowski couldn’t come up with a single answer. He notes, “Everything we did that week was incredible. I can still feel the drill in my hand, and can’t wait to use it in clinical practice.”

For Zaborowski, the Discover Dental School Program was an opportunity that he will never forget. He says, “This program was an amazing hands-on experience that was more than I could have ever imagined and has solidified my aspirations to pursue a career in the dental field.”

Zaborowski adds, “I would like to thank Kirsten Peterson for informing me of this wonderful program and aiding in my acceptance to attend this event. I would also like to thank the Global Health Studies (GHS) Department faculty, especially Professors Dawson and Waggett, for encouraging me to attend.”

Students interested in careers in the health professions and in this and other experiential learning opportunities may contact Director of Pre-Professional Studies Kirsten Peterson at

Photo: Allegheny College student Matt Zaborowski ’17 with his typodont placed two braces on the upper front teeth.

Pre-Health Students Present Research at Eighth Annual ACRoSS

Presentations by two pre-health students were included in this summer’s eighth annual Allegheny College Research Seminar Series (ACRoSS).  This interdisciplinary forum for the presentation of summer research projects developed by students and faculty takes place in the Tippie Alumni Center’s Tillotson Room and is organized by the Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (URSCA) under the direction of Professor Aimee Knupsky, Ph.D.

On Tuesday, June 9, pre-health student Claire Porterfield (Biochemistry ’16) and Nathan Allen (Biochemistry ’16) presented their research with Professor Marty Serra, Ph.D. (Chemistry and Biochemistry) titled “RNA Structure and Stability.”

On Tuesday, June 16, pre-health student Garrett Devenney (Biology/Global Health Studies ’16) presented research with Professor Becky Dawson, Ph.D. (Global Health Studies and Biology) titled “Knowledge and Perceptions of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak among Undergraduate Students.”

Claire Porterfield ’16 Becomes Two-Time RAM Volunteer

Two years ago, the desire to volunteer at a medical clinic resulted in a trip to the Remote Area Medical (RAM) Health Exposition in Wise, Va. for pre-health student Claire Porterfield ’16. The biochemistry major and psychology minor returned for her second RAM event July 17-19, 2015.

A non-profit established in 1985 by Stan Brock, who now serves as the organization’s president, delivers free basic medical aid to people in the regions of the world that do not have routine access to health care. Through a partnership with Southwest Virginia’s Health Wagon, this year’s all-volunteer RAM event was the 700th worldwide and the largest such event in the United States.

“What stunned me at Remote Area Medical was how big it was. It filled an entire fairground,” says Porterfield. “The number of volunteers that come is incredible. Hundreds of people happily donate their time to provide care. I’ve met pre-health students, medical students, nurses, doctors and technicians from all over who tell stories and share experiences and advice.”

Services at RAM include medical, dental and vision provided to the uninsured, underinsured, unemployed, working poor and others who cannot afford to pay.

“Once, a friend from the clinic and I knocked on the vision truck because we thought it was so cool that they were making glasses right there in a van,” Porterfield notes. “An incredibly friendly intern excitedly gave us a tour of the whole process.”

For Porterfield, RAM was an experience she will never forget. “I have been to RAM twice now and I can honestly say it has been one of the best and most moving experiences of my undergraduate career.”

Recent Allegheny graduates who volunteered their time at RAM Health Expositions in Wise, Va. include Abigael Dishler ’13, Dosalyn Thompson ’13 and Winnie Wong ’12.

Students interested in careers in the health professions and in this and other experiential learning opportunities may contact Director of Pre-Professional Studies Kirsten Peterson at

Photo: Allegheny College student volunteer Claire Porterfield with University of Virginia student volunteers Lauren Benoit and Emily Moore (left to right).

Eighteen Allegheny Students Shadow Health Care Professionals

For the 16th consecutive year, Allegheny’s Office of Pre-Professional Studies under Director Kirsten Peterson ’78, in collaboration with the Office of Career Education, organized the 2015 Experiential Learning Health Care Shadowing Experience Program. For three intensive weeks in May, eighteen Allegheny students gained exposure to various health care fields related to their majors and areas of interest.

Health care professionals, who are also Allegheny alumni and friends of the College, volunteered their time and expertise to provide students opportunities to see first-hand their typical days and gain exposure to the health profession working environment. The eighteen prearranged shadow opportunities were offered in specialties such as human medicine, dental medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, podiatry and veterinary medicine.

Student responses to these shadow opportunities have been enthusiastic and appreciative. Zachery Shomo ’18 shadowed Dr. Daniel Altman, Allegheny Class of 1983.

“The Experiential Learning Shadowing Term provided me a glimpse into the world of orthopedic medicine during my three weeks with Dr. Altman,” according to Shomo. “Dr. Altman is an orthopedic surgeon at Allegheny General Hospital who specializes in spine and neck trauma. During my time with him, I experienced both surgical and office perspectives of his practice. I was able to be in surgery with Dr. Altman and also sat in on patient consultations. The EL Term helped me affirm that I want to pursue a career in medicine and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this program.”

Other student feedback echoes Shomo’s response and affirms the quality of experiences provided. Abbey Turner ’16, a biology major and English minor, shadowed Dr. James Macielak, Allegheny Class of 1976.

“The relationship formed from office to operating room and back was an interesting one to observe,” said Turner. “Dr. Macielak’s ability to speak to his patients in a compassionate manner combined with his dedication to adequate preparation for each case will always stay with me. As I look forward with hope to my future as a physician, I plan to implement the lessons learned from Dr. Macielak in his relationships with his staff and patients.”

Alyssa Nelson ’17, a biology major and psychology minor, shadowed five veterinarians at Greener Pastures Veterinary Service.

“The Health Care EL Shadowing Program has provided me with much more than just hours on a resume,” said Nelson. “I learned a tremendous amount about the veterinary field in a short period of time, and the experience went even deeper than that. The veterinarians supplied me with plentiful advice about preparing for my future and how to present myself in a professional setting. I am truly grateful to both Greener Pastures and the EL Shadowing Program for allowing me this opportunity to gain valuable pre-professional experience.”

Students interested in careers in the health professions and in this and other experiential learning opportunities may contact Director of Pre-Professional Studies Kirsten Peterson at

Photo: Allegheny College student Zachery Shomo ’18 was among the group of students participating in the 2015 Experiential Learning Health Care Shadowing Experience Program organized by Director of Pre-Professional Studies Kirsten Peterson ’78 in collaboration with the Office of Career Education.

Three Allegheny Students Accepted into Penn State College of Medicine Primary Care Scholars’ Program

As the result of a rigorous application process coordinated by Director of Pre-Professional Studies Kirsten Peterson ’78, three Allegheny students were among a select group accepted into the Penn State College of Medicine Primary Care Scholars’ Program, which took place May 18-28.  Students chosen to participate in this program were judged on academic excellence, well-rounded life experiences, clinical exposure and service orientation.

Liana Leja ’17, Clara Moller ’16 and Kent Sabatose ’17 met with medical faculty and students in discussion groups, seminar presentations and informal gatherings on the Penn State College of Medicine’s Hershey campus to learn about health-care delivery and primary care, medical school admissions, financial aid and the medical school curriculum process.

“The Penn State College of Medicine Primary Care Scholars’ Program provided me with more than knowledge of the versatile nature of primary care,” said Kent Sabatose, a biochemistry major and psychology minor. “It brought students from across Pennsylvania together who share the same goals and interests as me to create an engaging environment where we could learn from each other.”

“Through the Penn State Primary Care Program, I was exposed to a broad base of medical professionals. Listening to firsthand experiences of physicians gave me key insights on the needs and challenges our healthcare system currently faces,” added Liana Leja, a biology major and global health studies minor.  “Having the opportunity to ask questions to current medical students was extremely helpful. It was an awesome experience, and I’m very glad to have been a part of this program.”

Programs on the philosophy and practice of primary care within the disciplines of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics were followed by weeklong shadowing experiences in primary care physicians’ offices.

“The Penn State College of Medicine Primary Care Scholars’ Program was an outstanding opportunity for me to learn more about the realities of being in a Primary Care setting and how a career in Primary Care can launch me into an incredible medical career,” said Clara Moller, a double major in neuroscience and psychology.  “I was also able to experience the type of dynamic learning environment Hershey Medical School offers and engage with peers that have the same passion and ambition as me. My experience with this program provided me with endless tools and invaluable knowledge on how to envision my future in medicine and how to make my dream of being a family physician come true.”

Students interested in careers in the health professions and in this and other experiential learning opportunities may contact Director of Pre-Professional Studies Kirsten Peterson at

Photo: Allegheny College students Liana Leja, Clara Moller and Kent Sabatose (left to right) were among a select group of students chosen to participate in the Penn State College of Medicine Primary Care Scholars’ Program.

Peterson Presents Poster on Innovative Health Coach Program

Director of Pre-Professional Advising Kirsten Peterson presented a poster on the Health Coach Program at the annual meeting of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions in San Francisco on June 28. The poster, “Health Coaching: Rx for a Healthier Community,” described the collaborative work between Allegheny College and the Meadville Medical Center to train students to serve as health coaches for at-risk adult patients in the Meadville community. This program is the first of its kind to train college students as health coaches.