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Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

At Hamilton, which has a new, state-of-the-art science center, the emphasis on discovery-based laboratory work and research means you will receive practical, hands-on training with many opportunities to learn outside the classroom. You will regularly collaborate with instructors on projects that lead to publication in top research journals and presentations at scholarly conferences.

Rachel Sobel (3rd from right) with her fellow American Chemical Society representatives
Rachel Sobel (3rd from right) with her fellow American Chemical Society representatives

A student’s achievement: attending a U.N. conference

Rachel Sobel ’15 attended the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw, Poland, as a student representative of the American Chemical Society. Her job was to use social media to cover the event for a target audience of college students.

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Communications is one of Sobel’s diverse interests – diverse interests have inspired her since high school. She is a double major in biochemistry and women’s studies who plans to go to medical school.

“I find so many intersections between science and feminism and women’s studies. And it really colors all the other things that I do in terms of my perspectives that I take on the world, on science, on life,” says Sobel, who keeps busy. She earned a summer research grant from the College to study Bisphenol A levels in beer cans, writes for The Spectator student newspaper, is a teaching assistant in the Chemistry Department and leads visitors on campus tours. Sobel has lots to tell them about her school.

“I feel like all students at Hamilton just pursue their passions. They are gung-ho. They just go for it,” she says.

Fallon Chipidza '10

A graduate’s progress: Harvard med school

Fallon Chipidza ’10 is a Harvard University medical student whose commitment runs deep. “My experiences growing up in Zimbabwe were the initial factors that drew me to medicine,” she says. “Like most developing countries, Zimbabwe faces many health challenges. The burden of diseases is much greater in Sub-Saharan Africa than most places in the world, so I think it was that desire to want to change the status quo that initially drew me to medicine.”

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Even with that clear vision, the distinctly different subjects of biochemistry and economics appealed to her.

“Scientists and economists approach problems differently. I wanted a well-rounded education, and I wanted to take advantage of everything that Hamilton offered, so I went for the double major,” Chipidza says.

She had a mini-internship at a local hospital, did three summers of science research on campus, and between her junior and senior year, she interned at Pfizer, Inc., in Connecticut.

Her honors and achievements at Hamilton included winning a national Davis Projects for Peace grant, a $10,000 award, for her project to create a chicken business to help cover costs at a preschool for needy children in Zimbabwe.

“The real world is much bigger and more complex than the facts and numbers students learn in class. In hindsight, I think my outside experiences at Hamilton taught me life’s lessons that I could have never gotten in a class setting,” she says.