Hometown: New Milford, Conn.
Major: Biology (pre-med)
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Biology
Internships: Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, researching the effects of various climatic variables on the structure of invertebrate communities living on the backs of loggerhead sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico
Activities: Member and president of the WCSU Biology Club; member of WCSU Habitat for Humanity Club, Honors Student Organization and International Student Association; tutor for the Tutoring Resource Center and WCSU Bridges Program; note taker for WCSU AccessAbility Services; volunteer at the New Milford Hospital Emergency Department. Has held a summer job with the Super Science Enrichment Program in New Milford since 2007.
Honors and Awards: Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award, Outstanding Graduating Senior Award in Biology, the Dean’s Award, Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, WCSU Merit Scholarship, Sodexo Scholarship, Dean’s List every semester, 3.99 GPA
As a child, Gregory Chamberlin was fascinated by dinosaurs. In middle school, he was captivated by how the human body works. In high school, he was drawn to genetics and evolution. Somehow he found a way to combine all his interests at Western. "Biology seemed like an easy choice because I could pursue all of these avenues of study and figure out which was the best fit for my career," he says.
Chamberlin, who was salutatorian of his graduating class at New Milford High School, looked at Western, the University of Connecticut and Boston University for his undergraduate studies. "I wanted to go to a smaller school and come out with as little debt as possible for when I enter medical school," he says. The price at Western definitely helped in his decision. "With my merit scholarship, my tuition was paid in full and in this economy, a free education is hard to pass up. However, what really caught my eye with WestConn was the intimacy of the student-professor relationship. Why would I choose to go to a school where I would be just another name on a 300-student roster for all my classes, when instead I could attend a school where all of my professors are actually invested in my academic and personal growth?"
Those professors, Chamberlin says, definitely made an impact. "It is hard to single out one professor whom I view as a mentor," he says. "I have been close with Dr. Paul Hines since my freshman year. As my organic chemistry professor and pre-med adviser, Dr. Hines has been a fantastic wealth of knowledge as I made my way through my college career. He has been more patient with me than I deserve, and he has never steered me wrong on my path to a career in medicine. I have also had the pleasure to work under Dr. Frank Dye in his laboratory, where I learned many valuable lessons in the art of conducting real research."
Asked what he will remember most about his Western experience, Chamberlin says, "Last year I went on a trip to Washington, D.C., with a group of international exchange students through the WCSU International Student Association. The juxtaposition between our nation’s culture manifest in the country’s capital and the varied cultures of my fellow students from Europe was an amazing, consciousness-raising experience."
Chamberlin currently is in the process of applying to medical schools, earning interviews at UConn, the University of Viriginia, BU and Quinnipiac. "As soon as I am accepted, I am considering a career in pathology as a medical examiner," he says.
Chamberlin’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "One of the hardest things about college is finding a field of study that you are passionate about. The world is a big place and there are so many opportunities available that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to try out a bunch of different classes while you have the chance. The last thing you want to do is lock yourself into some subject only to realize that you really aren’t that interested. You’re still young and you have your whole life ahead of you, so take your time finding that career path that will keep you feeling happy and fulfilled for years to come."