Student Spotlight: Jillian Scarpanito C’20

Jillian Scarpanito C’20

What attracted you to Drew?  

I was attracted to Drew’s tight-knit community and excellent science programs. I went to County College of Morris for my first 2 years of college (I graduated with my Associate’s in Biology [A.A.S.]). I knew since high school I wanted to major in biology and pursue a medical career.

What draws you to Biology?

Biology gives us the ability to discover more about what makes us human and to apply these breakthroughs to improve our quality of life.

Have you done any internships or work off-campus?

I shadowed my optometrist for about 6 months to confirm my desire to pursue a career in optometry and to learn more about the field.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

I would consider Dr. Neal Connors to be a research mentor, Dr. Stephen Dunaway and Dr. Brianne Barker were life mentors (helping me pick classes, plan my semesters, and stay calm while applying to optometry schools, etc.)

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?

TriBeta Executive Board meetings, Chemistry Kahoot, research lab with Dr. Connors, “Emerging Infectious Disease” with Dr. Barker.

Any hobbies or activities or Fun Fact (s) about you?

I do yoga, cook and enjoy spending time with my dogs. I also love Latin Pop music, and I can do a split.  Thank you, mom and dad, for everything!

What are your career goals and where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to work as a family optometrist and own part of a practice. I see myself graduating optometry school (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (MCPHS) Worcester, MA) in 4 years and hopefully working with a successful practice by year 5!

What advice would you give first-year students?

Don’t worry too much, everything will work out! You will accomplish whatever is most suitable for you. Continue to work hard, dream big, and relax!

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