Name: Lauren Stainbrook
Hometown: Meadville, PA
Involvement: Tri-Beta, Chem Club, Honors Program, tutor, teaching assistant, biology department student ambassador, alpha lambda delta, friends of the border pen pal program, Sigma Tau Nu corollary
Why did you choose Heidelberg?
“A lot of weird coincidences put Heidelberg on the map for me. I wanted to see what is was all about, and on my first visit I was sold. I loved the place, the faculty, and the way I felt when I was here. I didn’t want to get lost in a large school and the fact that there was a cadaver program was extremely rare.”
Who is your mentor on campus?
“One of the nice things about Heidelberg is you don’t have to pick just one. Dr. Beres is highly involved with Chem Club as our advisor. He is also my student research advisor for my honors project. Dr. Carty and Dr. Faber have played huge roles in making me the competitive student that I am and equipped me with special skills. I worked for Dr. Pruneski and Dr. Baker, and Dr. Spencer is our Tri-Beta advisor. Everyone in the department has played a role in helping me. Being close with all of my professors is highly valuable and is something that’s really rare.”
What has your research experience been like?
“Starting freshman year I started with labs from basic dissection to genetics. I fell in love with organic chemistry and when it was time to pick a senior honors project I decided to try to make my own perfume. I’ve been working on synthesizing and extracting chemical compounds that smell good in an attempt to make different perfumes. I have all the time in the lab that I want. I have my own hood. I can do basically what I want.”
What has been your favorite Berg experience?
“Mine would be the Texas-Mexico border trip. I went after my sophomore year. We interacted with such a small and fabulous community of kids and families for an entire week. I speak very basic Spanish, but regardless I fostered some of the greatest friendships I have and I write to them still to this day. It was very touching and I hope someday to go back.”
What is your advice to underclassmen?
“Realize that your experience here or anywhere is entirely up to you. The level of involvement you take on is ultimately how much you raise your hand or taking a shot at a leadership position. The involvement that I have right now has given me so much insight into my own life and skills that I would never have found in a classroom: organizational skills and being able to lead a group of people."
What are your post-graduation plans?
“The more I get involved and the more I take leadership roles, I realize that I’m someone who has to work with people. I like being around people, so wherever I end up in life hopefully it’s with people. I don’t want to be in a lab by myself. I’ve been in the process of applying to physician assistant school. I’ll be waiting to hear back from that. In the meantime I’m preparing to take the MCAT because I’m also interested in an anesthesiologist assistant program. It would be an honor to get in anywhere, it’s so competitive.”