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‘Can-do’ junior makes difference on campus

From helping freshmen to managing money to preparing for medical school, Saintedym Wills has learned valuable lessons while making an impact at the University.

The 20-year-old junior from Queens chose Binghamton because of its academic reputation and affordability. Wills considered majoring in music until science classes made her realize that medicine was the right track. The biochemistry major’s decision is paying off: She spent the summer of 2007 working in Jamaica Hospital in Queens and took part in a Research Experience for Undergraduates program last summer at Carnegie Mellon University.

“That (REU) experience really enhanced my critical-thinking skills,” she said. “I loved it so much — just being in a different city and learning about Pittsburgh’s culture.”

Outside of class, Wills serves as the controller for Escape, the student-run charter bus service. Working with others while handling the organization’s funds has taught Wills about teamwork, she said. She also is a Discovery Adviser, which has helped her realize the importance of time management and the ability to assist fellow students.

“It’s a crucial program, especially for incoming freshmen,” she said. “Students need to realize that college is fun, but they need to get their academics together, too. We show them different study habits and ways to get connected to other students and to ease their transition.”

Wills hasn’t given up on music, either. She has played the piano since age 6 and got into composers such as Bach and Chopin at age 9. Wills now minors in music and teaches the instrument to friends.

Wills’ overall work has impressed Rebecca Kissling, lecturer in the Chemistry Department.

“Saintedym is a can-do person,” she said. “She visualizes what she wants to be and sets about to accomplish it, with seemingly boundless energy. The fact that she has served as an undergraduate TA for both philosophy and organic chemistry says a lot about the breadth of her talent and interests, as well as her willingness to share her knowledge and experience with other students in the University.”

Wills hopes to do more hospital work this summer and go to medical school for anesthesiology.

“I’m really happy with what I’ve done,” she said. “I’ve worked hard since coming here and I value the friendships I’ve made. I feel like I’m much more active here than I was in high school.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08