Senior speaker finalist Sarah King has long had an interest in biology. She transferred to Purchase from Nassau Community College in 2016 after participating in the Bridges to Baccalaureate Summer Program and has been a MARC U*STAR scholar ever since. She’ll pursue graduate studies at University of Chicago after graduation.
At Purchase, a stack of achievements grew as she took every opportunity to immerse herself in research. She presented at SURC (SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference) in 2017; at ABRCMS (Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students) in 2016 and 2017; and at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Undergraduate Symposium in 2017.
In the summer of 2017, she was a fellow at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory REU program (Research Experiences for Undergraduates).
On campus, the Freeport, NY native has helped her fellow students as a peer mentor, a tutor in Einstein’s Corner, and as a learning assistant for General Biology I and Biochemistry Lab.
With a 4.06 GPA, she’s been on the Dean’s List every semester since fall 2015 and she earned the Outstanding Junior in Biology Award in 2017.
“I love Purchase because of the small yet persistent scientific community,” she says.
PC: Describe a moment during your Purchase experience when you felt most challenged?
SK: My most challenging moment was the final week of my second semester when I had three finals within 24 hours of one another. It was tough but I got through it and feel richer for the experience.
PC: And most proud or triumphant?
SK: My proudest moment as a Purchase student was getting straight A’s on my transcript after my first semester at Purchase College for the first time in my college career.
PC: If you had to predict, what is something from your time at Purchase that you think will leave a lasting impression?
SK: In the spring of my junior year I took a calculus class where I was not permitted to use a calculator. This was a difficult change to make at first but it ultimately taught me the importance of understanding the material.
PC: If you had to name one, who is the professor who had the greatest impact on you? Why?
SK: I would say Dr. Elizabeth Middleton has a had a significant impact on me because she took me under her wing to train me in the ways of science research and even allowed me to take on a variety of responsibilities whereby I was allowed to plan and perform several new protocols. Dr. Middleton’s investment of time and materials has a positive effect on me that I hope to provide other students with in the future.
PC: What does Think Wide Open mean to you?
SK: To me, Think Wide Open is an indictment of the common ideological trap that pits thinking within against thinking outside of the box and instead identifies the dangers of treating the ‘box’ as law as the problem rather than the box itself.
PC: What do you hope to be doing a year from now?
SK: A year from now I hope to be making good progress on my doctoral thesis and graduate coursework.
PC: What will you miss most about Purchase?
SK: I believe I will miss the small, close-knit community of purchase most.
PC: Any words of encouragement for your fellow graduates?
SK: Even if you are not entirely sure where you are headed at the moment, you’ll get there just fine.