Sarah Nix '12 - Biology



That is the term Sarah Nix '12 uses to summarize her internship experience at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute while a student at Curry College.

"Internships definitely prepare you for the real world, learning what will be expected of you, how to act in a real world setting, and how to be professional and reliable. But like me, if you are enjoying what you are doing, it doesn't seem like work, it just seems fun that you're learning."

The biology major and double minor in chemistry and mathematics from Waltham, MA was awarded the opportunity by her Curry biology professor Marlene Samuelson, who chooses one hard-working student a year to work with Dana-Farber.

During her time at the Institute, Nix was exposed to the process of Bioinformatics, a field of study within science that is used to analyze data using computer science.  In the case of Nix's research, she used Bioinformatics to analyze genome sequences. The results of her research could one day have a positive impact on treating cancer or any number of other diseases.

Nix chose Curry College because of the opportunities that Boston area hospitals provide for students in the science and medical fields.

"Being so close to Boston was a huge plus, especially with me wanting to do things related to science and research. But I also liked how Curry's campus is just outside the city, because I enjoy the outdoors as well."

She also liked the fact that the Curry campus community was very close-knit, including within her academic major.

"I felt like in the biology program, we were like a little family, always helping each other out. If somebody was having trouble in a class then we would all study together, until everyone got it.  I think it's important for students to look out for each other."

And Nix says the science and mathematics faculty were always willing to go the extra mile for their students.

"The professors are always happy to help in the science department...every one of them.  Even if it's not during their office hours, they are there to help you. Professor Samuelson and I would meet once a week regarding my internship and she would always be there to guide me through papers and research projects."

You would think that with Nix's rigorous academic schedule that she would want to use her spare time to relax...but that was not the case.

She was also the student building manager of the Curry College Student Center, worked in the campus Fitness Center, a peer tutor and advisor, co-president of the R.A.G.E. Peer Educators Group (students who raise awareness to positively influence other students' perceptions on alcohol, drugs, stress, and healthy habits), and served as president of Curry's Alexander Graham Bell Honor Society.

The Alexander Graham Bell Honor Society is one of Curry College's most distinguished organizations.  Membership in the Society is limited to 10% of the senior class and 5% of the junior class, and all members must have achieved at least a 3.5 grade point average, among other requirements.

Helping her fellow students and being involved was a common theme throughout Nix's time at Curry.

"I love that Curry is a small school because I have had so many opportunities here. Once you get involved with one thing then you get involved with something else, and then something else, like a domino effect. I've gotten to know so many people around campus: students, faculty, and staff.  I think every student should get involved from day one."

Nix plans to continue her education and hopes to one day work in the field of either family or mental health.


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