Maleah Smith, a biology major on the pre-medicine track, enjoys helping people in any capacity, especially through the calling of volunteerism and tackling some of the most significant problems facing our world today.
Maleah knew she wanted to go down the path that would best prepare her for medical school and becoming a doctor, specifically a cardiothoracic surgeon. She chose Stevenson University not only because of the engaging School of the Sciences faculty and overall welcoming community, but also because she recognized that students here succeeded through cooperation and teamwork—not competition. “[SU] made it clear from day one that they wanted me to succeed and have proven that statement every day I’ve been here.”
Maleah’s favorite part about her program are the unofficial tracks that biology majors can choose to pursue; there are classes pertaining to botany, anatomy, animals, and a variety of other subjects that prepare students for their post-graduate education or future career interests.
One of the most interesting experiences pertaining to her biology major and psychology minor was her research in the psychology crayfish lab with faculty member Dr. Angela Setzer. Together, they studied the effects of alcohol on crayfish while they were exposed to different color lights. They created an experimental design based on previous research conducted in Spring 2019 and adjusted minor details in order to address the question of how ethanol quantity and light color affected the cognitive behavior of crayfish.
Outside of the classroom, Maleah is an integral piece of Stevenson’s campus community: a member of the women’s basketball team; a part of the leadership program and honors program; a Resident Assistant for first-year students; a multi-subject tutor for the Academic Link; and a student employee for the Center for Environmental Stewardship. She also volunteers at SU’s student-run food pantry, a resource for student’s facing food insecurity.
As a Leadership Scholar and Honors student, Maleah enjoys the fun yet scholarly opportunities students are able to engage in, such as the Baltimore Speaker Series, where some of the greatest minds in the world gather to discuss their work and connect with students. “The opportunities SU gives for students to be productive and informed members of society is unmatched.”
Throughout the process of cultivating skills such as scientific reading and writing, communicating effectively, and professional networking, one of Maleah’s biggest takeaways is this: “Don’t be afraid to be wrong. That’s how some of the greatest scientific discoveries were made.”
Even as a sophomore, Maleah already feels prepared to begin applying to medical schools because of the academic and emotional counseling offered to her by faculty and staff along her Stevenson journey. Through and through, she works every day to foster a positive perspective in herself and the world around her.