Michael Pepin '20
“I came to Bryant with an open mind and tried a few different majors before I found the best fit. I wanted to be able to experience everything, and get a variety of different perspectives,” says Michael Pepin ’20, now a medical student at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School. “That's how I think college should be.”
Pepin knew he wanted a career that would make an impact but also wanted to ensure he was making the right choice. A Microbiology course with Professor and Chair of Science and Technology Kirsten Hokeness, Ph.D., helped him find his way. “What I learned in that class kind of sparked a fire for me and made me realize that this is what I wanted to do. I realized studying biology and becoming a doctor was how I could help the most people.”
Since that initial course, he’s developed a broad skillset that’s preparing him to work with patients. Studying antibiotics with Professor Christopher Reid, Ph.D., developed his lab skills, a minor in Information Systems and Analytics gave him the mindset and technical abilities to read and interpret important data, and a directed study focusing on why students vape helped him understand health issues and people better.
“I like to know as much as possible, and I like to have the best understanding of something as I possibly can,” says Pepin, who graduated a semester early. “At Bryant, I've taken courses ranging from biochemistry to anatomy and physiology to physics, which is a great preparation for medical school.”
Eager to start helping people, Pepin began to volunteer with the Rhode Island Free Clinic, which provides comprehensive free medical care to uninsured Rhode Island adults. “Volunteering there really opened my eyes and helped see the bigger picture,” he says. After graduation, he worked for the clinic for a year through the AmeriCorps Patient Care VISTA program while preparing for the Medical College Admission Test.
As he readies himself for a career helping others, Pepin is grateful for the assistance he has received. “I've had so much support helping me along the way,” he notes. “Everyone at Bryant – the faculty, the staff, everyone – wants to help students achieve their goals.”
Real World Experience
Directed Study Project
• Evaluated vaping trends in an undergraduate population to understand why students vape as well as their overall awareness of health considerations and regulations surrounding vaping
Biochemistry Research Assistant, Summer National Institutes of Health (NIH) Internship at Bryant University
• Analyzed and evaluated the effectiveness of diamide antibiotics with Professor of Science and Technology Christopher Reid, Ph.D.
• Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) conference
• 2019 National Sigma Xi Research Honors Society Conference
Volunteer, Rhode Island Free Clinic
• Assists with setting up follow-ups and referrals as well as completing lab work
• Assists patients with refilling prescription medications through the Patient Assistance Program (PAP)
Support Group Co-Facilitator, Butler Hospital
• Under the supervision of Dr. Maria Mancebo, co-facilitated a support group for patients with Hoarding Disorder
A Connected Community
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“One of our tasks as educators is to challenge [students], encourage them and nurture them so that they graduate as individuals ready to do something positive.”