Julia Payne

Julia Payne

Hometown: Arkport, NY

Major: Biochemistry

Graduation Year: 2024

Why did you choose ˿Ƶ?

I chose ˿Ƶ for my undergrad experience because of the opportunities in my program and the small campus community. As a biochemistry major, I am part of the natural science department, where I complete a research sequence. Starting sophomore year, I began learning more about research in preparation for my own research project I designed. Currently I am working on analyzing my research for my project on the impact of coral bleaching on coral reef biodiversity with my research advisor. The small campus community was important for me because I came from a small, rural high school so being known for me and not a number was crucial in my decision process. The one-on-one experiences with professors and staff members has played a large role in my college experience.

Why did you choose your present major?

I chose the major biochemistry because I had interests in both biology and chemistry, so the track allowed me to explore both of those fields further in depth. My original plan after undergrad was to pursue medical school and the major fulfilled all requirements for that path. Now I am working towards physician assistant graduate school and the courses required by my major make me a competitive applicant.

Please briefly describe your Scholar's Day. 

I remember that on my Scholar's Day that I was very nervous but it was nice to meet current students who place an emphasis on their studies to get insight on what my life may be like in a year. During my interview, I was grateful to meet one of my future professors in the natural sciences, which made me excited for my future at the school. 

Please describe your academic experience at ˿Ƶ.

When I first started as a freshman, I was surprised how much harder college was compared to high school, despite being valedictorian and taking college credits. I spent a lot of time trying out various study strategies and still to this semester, I always try to be open and adaptive to different techniques. My professors have always been super helpful with any questions I have and majority of them will help with advice even outside of school. The one-on-one opportunities and small class sizes have aided in my academic success.

What do you like best about ˿Ƶ?

My favorite thing about ˿Ƶ is the people. No matter where you are on campus everyone is very accepting and willing to help you if you ever need anything, the staff especially. I feel like at larger institutions this is not as possible since many people do not know each other, whereas at ˿Ƶ, you generally at least recognize someone and many will just reach out to you as well. In addition, interactions and relations have a major impact on the college experience.

What clubs or organizations have you been a part of here at ˿Ƶ? What kinds of things do they do?

I have been a member of premed club since freshman year, which has provided me opportunities to expand on my medical knowledge, including a suture clinic. I am the chief officer of ˿Ƶ Campus Rescue Squad (DCRS), where students are offered the opportunity to obtain their EMT-B certification. DCRS also works to spread health awareness on campus through events such as a bone marrow registration drive. I am a full member of the TriBeta biological honor society, which works to recognize undergraduate students in the biological sciences. TriBeta provides research opportunities, such as publishing, and connects students across science focuses. 

Please describe any internship, study abroad, service learning or academic experience?

In July 2023, I studied abroad in Australia for 2 weeks, where I surveyed the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Fitzroy Island as part of a course at ˿Ƶ. We took a class during the spring semester focusing on coral reefs and their impact on Australia in various ways. While in Australia, we snorkeled to gather data on bleaching status of corals and biodiversity levels, which could be used by the Australian government in the monitoring and protection of the reefs. In January 2024, I studied abroad for 2 weeks in Thailand, where a group of us traveled to a community center to educate youth on life skills and help to improve their english. The goal of the trip was to empower Thailand youth in the hope of preventing them from entering the vicious cycle of human trafficking present.

Do you have a job or jobs on campus? Please provide a brief description. 

On campus, I work as an academic coach through the Student Success Center. I have been a coach for general biology and physics, where students in those courses can schedule one-on-one or group sessions with me to cover material and receive study strategies.

What is your favorite spot to stop by in town?

Buffalo Zoo

What piece of advice would you give to prospective students? 

Be prepared for college to be different from high school, even if you took AP or college courses. It is important to be flexible and learn/adapt study strategies, something that works for one course may not work for another, so find what works for you. Most importantly, take care of yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help.