Student Spotlight: Maria Isabel Vazquez-Maldonado C’23

Maria Isabel Vazquez-Maldonado C’23

What attracted you to Drew? 

I was born and raised in Princeton, NJ and was attracted to Drew’s proximity to home, affordability, and small class sizes → easier to establish a relationship with faculty and I could get to have more interpersonal connections with others.

What made you choose Biology as a major and Sociology as a minor?

I always knew I had an interest in the medical field and pursuing a career path as a physician assistant (PA). It was only a matter of if I preferred chemistry or biology. I struggled initially with the decision to declare my major. I didn’t know if I felt confident enough to pursue a STEM major ultimately it was after a conversation with my Bio160 Lecture professor who asked me, “Is it something your passionate about? Or it something you find yourself having to check off a list of things to do. If it’s not something that makes you smile and it keeps you guessing then maybe it not for you, and that okay. Don’t try and fool yourself into enjoying it simply because someone tells you to.” My lab professor furthered this idea when she said, “I think it quite obvious to me Maria, did you know you suddenly start glowing and have so much to say when talking about what’s going on during our experiments. The worst that could happen is you decide you don’t like it, right?”

Do you have any mentors at Drew? 

Yes; Academic Advisor-Alec Bajcz, EOS advisors- Joelle Falaise, Twannah Ellington

What are a few highlights of Drew? 

It’s a small community. It makes it easier to get to know everyone and to make a difference by addressing any issues students have.

What issue in the world means the most to you? 

The constant inequality people of color face due to institutionalized racism, specifically the lack of resources  in education and medical services.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 

I hope to be a Physician Assistant and advocate for people of color in impoverished communities where there is a language barrier. In 5 years I hope to be nearing the end of PA school and starting to apply for jobs.

Are there any fun facts you would like to share?

I will eat almost any fruit with Tajin.


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