STEM Alumni Panel: Where are they now?

On Feb. 24, students had the opportunity to attend a STEM Alumni Panel.  The speakers present were Cecilia O’Brien C’13, Camille Werzowa C’16, and Rachel Craig C’16.

Each of the panelists informed the students of what they are currently doing with their field of study. They also talked about the transition from being at the Mount, and going out into the “real world.”

The first panelist, Cecilia O’Brien C’13, is currently working at the USAMIRID, The United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.

O’Brien specifically works within the field of virology, which is the study of viruses. O’Brien describes that part of her job is, “conducting basic research for vaccines.”

She is currently at the BSL-3 level, which means that she gets to wear scrubs and footwear that don’t leave the lab due to the infectious cells that she works with on a regular basis.

The second panelist, Camille Werzowa C’16, is currently working at the Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station as a Nuclear Chemistry Technician.

Werzowa gets to work with a Boiling Water Reactor (BWR), which is a type of water nuclear reactor that helps with the creation of electric power.

Werzowa then goes on to explain one of the main goals of the Atomic Power Station. Werzowa explains, “In the Chemistry department in an Atomic Power Station, the technicians focus on the prevention of corrosion. By minimizing the effects of the environment, they reduce the possibility of system failures and the release of radioactive steam inside the plant.”

The third panelist, Rachel Craig C’16, is currently studying in the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

On Craig’s first day at the program, she participated in a ropes course to help her class bond as a team. On the second day, they got right into it and started working with cadavers. Craig explained that, “Your cadaver is your first teacher and patient.” She also noted that, “my lab partner passed out on the first day.”

At the end of the presentations, each of the panelists offered advice to the current students. The advice ranged from GRE and MCAT advice, to how to become more marketable on your résumé.

The panelists were involved in a large variety of activities from the Mount. The activities ranged from being a desk assistant, to being a tour guide, to being on the club volleyball team.

To seem more marketable on your résumé, Werzowa advised, “Do something else for fun; don’t be so focused on science.”

O’Brien also recommended “getting a job even outside of science because experience is important.”

Students got to the opportunity to learn about two different paths that they could take after graduating in the science field; whether that is entering the working world or staying in school.

One thought on “STEM Alumni Panel: Where are they now?

  • March 16, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    What a wonderful opportunity to experience the end-result of your journey through the halls of academia.


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