This Spring Mariangelie Beaudry was selected to participate in Beyond the PhD’s Campus Ambassador Program. She graduated from Agawam High School in Agawam, MA in 2019 and currently is a a junior at the University of Hartford studying biology.
The earliest age that I can remember wanting to be a part of the medical field was at the age of eleven in my health class where we learned basic anatomy. I was fascinated by everything that I learned and had looked forward to that class every week. Keeping in mind that my love for the sciences was growing, the following year my grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Once she had been diagnosed, I began to ask lots of questions about the types of things she was going through. I was curious about the symptoms she was experiencing, the treatments she was receiving, and in what ways it was also affecting all of my family members. As time had progressed, I had noticed that there was not a lot of awareness about pancreatic cancer and it was not talked about enough. As a twelve-year-old, I went to my town hall and met with the mayor to see in what ways I could make a difference and bring more awareness to pancreatic cancer. After a couple of meetings, I was able to work with the mayor and declare November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month in my town. I was really proud of the awareness that I was able to spread for my grandma before she passed away.
In the following years, I continued to follow my passions with biology and other sciences in high school. In the back of my mind, I was always thinking about the more knowledge I could have to better understand the body and what my grandma had experienced. Afterward, I was also thinking about the effects of cancer in my family line and how that plays a role in genetics. In my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity of going back to the junior high school I had attended and working with my teacher that had taught me science in seventh grade. I loved that I had come full circle and was able to help students at that age with labs and provide any guidance that I could from my perspective.
Now, currently a junior at the University of Hartford, I realize even more how much I enjoy working with people and being able to provide advice from my point of view and the knowledge that I have. I am currently a biology major and have been enjoying all of my science classes thus far. On campus, I have had more opportunities to work with people such as being a tour guide where I am able to guide prospective students around campus and give them an insight into campus life as well as specialize in the biology labs. On top of that, I am an orientation leader where I get the opportunity to help the incoming first-year class get acclimated to being on a university campus and get some of those first-day jitters out. Lastly, I am a member of the student government association where I get to work with other students and be an advocate of the student’s voices. I enjoy that club especially because it allows me to bring to life my other hobbies in politics that I do not give as much attention to sometimes.
Currently, I am planning on going into a program after graduation where I can work with people, teaching them about genetic disorders that could potentially affect them in their lifetime and in what ways they can cope with it. I am aspiring to educate people and positively impact their lives. I am hopeful that I can help as many families as possible and I am very excited to see where else my journey takes me.
–Written by Mariangelie Beaudry