Graduate Ambassador at Cornell University
Hometown: Berkshire, NY
Graduate Program: BMCB, Ph.D.
Anticipated Graduation Date: 2020
Institution: University of Southern Maine
A first generation college graduate, I am originally from Belarus, a small country in Eastern Europe, where I worked as a news reporter. After immigrating to the US, in a search of a new career, I went back to school and eventually chose to major in biochemistry. During my studies at the University of Southern Maine, I enjoyed working as an undergraduate researcher with Prof. Ah-Kau Ng and tutoring organic chemistry. After graduation, I briefly worked as a research technician at the Koch Institute at MIT until I joined the BMCB Ph.D. program at Cornell.
I chose Cornell for its excellent reputation, high quality impactful research and commitment to diversity. I was also drawn to the outstanding quality of the BMCB program that offers a strong structure and wide choice of research areas. In addition, I wished to experience a small town atmosphere, and Cornell, surrounded by beautiful parks, hiking trails and waterfalls, is perfect for that.
I love integrating biological and chemical approaches to understanding cell physiology and signaling, and how they relate to diseases such as cancer.
It has been an experience of tremendous growth as a scientist and person, for which I am grateful to many people.
Follow your passions. Understand your expectation of a graduate school experience. This can be difficult if you have no prior grad school experience, so communicate with former and current grad students to help you realize what you want and don't want. Choose based on that understanding, but be ready to compromise and communicate.