My name is Madeline Richard, I am a sophomore biology major on the pre-health track. I knew in high school that I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, and I knew there were a number of ways I could succeed in doing so. I chose the biology major because of my positive experience in introductory classes during my first and second years at Holy Cross.
There were many factors that contributed to this positive experience including my interactions with my peers and professors as well as utilizing college resources. Some programs that I would like to highlight today are my participation in Bio Buddies and Chem PAL (Peer Assisted Learning).
I used Bio Buddies as a resource during my freshman year. It is a biology help session available 3 days a week in the evenings, usually from 6-10pm. The students who run Bio Buddies have taken a numerous amount of biology courses, so you can go to them for introductory or upper-level biology courses. Not only were they helpful in answering questions I had about my course material, they were helpful in giving advice about the biology major. They told me about their experiences with different professors, their lab experience, and the bucket list of biology courses that I should take as an upperclassman.
I also utilized the Chem PAL resource while taking the introductory chemistry sequence. Chem PAL is a little more formal in the sense that there was a specific worksheet we completed, and it was directed by the PAL for only your specific class. We met twice a week for an hour to review what we had learned in lecture so far that week. It was a great way to see more practice problems and interact with classmates. This resource was one I utilized while virtual learning. The benefits were enhanced over ZOOM because we were able to collaborate in smaller groups over the course material.
Both Bio Buddies and Chem PAL were resources that helped me decide to continue to pursue a STEM major. Along with my professors and my peers, these resources provided a great support system that I knew I needed with such a rigorous major.