Hometown: Danbury, Connecticut
Major: Biology and Health Studies, Pre-Med Track
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Health Studies
Activities: Founder and Pre-Med Track Mentor, Pre-Health Mentoring Program; Co-President, Collegiate Health Service Corps; University Liaison, CT Students for a Dream; Freshman Seminar Mentor, Biology Department; Microbiology of the Female Reproductive Tract research, Biology Department; member of Biology Club; Student Government Association, Senator and Chair of Community Engagement Committee, Senate Review Committee, Campus and Student Centers Board, Student Relations Committee, Finance Committee, Strategic Planning Committee; Cat Program Volunteer, Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS); College Mentor, Pre-collegiate Mentoring Program at the Hispanic Center Of Greater Danbury; Publicity Chair, World Languages Club LETRA; Chemistry and Biology Tutor for EAP; student employee in Office of University and Alumni Relations
INTERNSHIPS: Gastrointestinal Cancer Clinical Trials Research at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; SMDEP at the Yale University School of Medicine; Pre-medical Intern at: Samaritan Health Center (Pediatrics), Hopeline Women’s Clinic (Women's Health), Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Anesthesiology and Surgery), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Pediatric Rheumatology and Radiology), Penn Fertility Care (Obstetrics/Gynecology and In Vitro Fertilization), Seifert and Ford Community Health Center (Internal Medicine), HAVEN Free Clinic (Medical Spanish Interpreter), Yale New-Haven Hospital (Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics)
Honors and Awards: CSU Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award; Gamma Eta Chapter, Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society; “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities”; Isabel T. Farrington Merit Scholar; State of Connecticut General Assembly Congratulatory Citation for Academic Success; Tribuna’s American Dream Awards ‘Student of the Year’ Finalist; Neil Wagner Memorial Scholarship; Hancock Student Leadership Program; CSU Trustee Scholar, Alumni Scholarship, every year; Honors Program Member; Dean’s List every semester
Evelin Garcia says she enrolled at Western Connecticut State University because she wanted to attend a small university "where I could get to know the professors and not just be a name on a roster. Here, I knew that if I saw my professors during office hours or around campus, they would know who I am. I think I was really able to form meaningful connections with professors from disciplines like biology, chemistry, social sciences and health promotion. Each of them mentored and guided me in some way to get to where I am today."
Garcia says she was interested in both science and public health and wanted to find a way to combine the two into a major that was more interdisciplinary. She was able to do that at Western. "Overall, I did not just want to be competent in the science of health, but I also wanted to be knowledgeable about the policy behind it. I think this major has successfully prepared me to enter the fields of medicine, public health and health policy."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Garcia says, "With the support and guidance from my professors, I was able to complete two medical enrichment fellowships at the Yale School of Medicine and the University Of Pennsylvania Perelman School Of Medicine. At both places, I was selected from a large pool of applicants and earned myself a spot. I was the first WCSU student to be selected for and participate in each of these selective and prestigious fellowships. In my sophomore year, I was the first WCSU student to be accepted to the Yale School of Medicine’s Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP). There, I took advanced science classes to reinforce difficult concepts, completed clinical rotations and served as a Spanish interpreter at the HAVEN Free Clinic for the uninsured. Most importantly, I was mentored by medical students and physicians with similar backgrounds as mine, who also overcame the odds to achieve their dreams. SMDEP was life-changing as it gave me a glimpse into the places I could go, the people I could impact and the goals I could accomplish despite the hurdles facing me. During my junior year, I had the opportunity to develop a study to identify differences in the presence of disease-causing agents in the microflora of the female reproductive tract among minority and non-minority women and present my research at WRD. That summer, at the University of Pennsylvania, I developed and conducted a study to assess the barriers and facilitators to the enrollment of minorities in cancer clinical trials at the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC). The findings of my study served as recommendations to improve the current policies at the ACC and ensure Latino and African-American populations in Philadelphia equal access to the latest, cutting-edge therapies."
After graduation, Garcia would like to complete a fellowship in the field of health public policy and/or perhaps enroll in a Master’s of Public Health or Social Work program, then attend medical school. "Overall, I want to develop into the next leader improving tomorrow’s health and social policies, and healthcare."
Garcia’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "If you are a commuter, DO NOT think there is nothing for you to do. There is so much going on that everyone can get involved in some way. Attend a club meeting, go to a PAC Movie Night, take advantage of the free REC classes, Coffeehouse on Thursdays, etc. Get involved and explore your interests. Also, if you come here set on one major, don’t discard all the other fields. You will learn that along the way, your interests will change and you will be more interested in other fields. Explore all of your options. Double major or minor in something if you want. Just make sure you do what you love! Don’t ignore your gut feeling. Get to know your professors; they genuinely want to help you. Go to office hours and attend all classes. It’s easy to fall behind. This is not high school anymore, you are responsible for yourself. Don’t expect things to just happen. Work hard, network, be memorable and create opportunities for yourself. You are in the process of weaving your future, don’t forget that."