- The Griffin
Mission 100 Days: Meet Your People and Get Involved
By Eliana DeGlopper, Graduating Contributor
Four years ago when I rang the bell in the admissions office, committed to Canisius and ate lunch at Lake Effect Diner, I was unsure if I made the right decision. I anxiously awaited August of 2019 to get to campus and see if I would experience that “feeling” everyone talked about to validate my choice. Within the first two days, I knew I never wanted to leave.
My first experience with Canisius was at “Bio Boot Camp.” It was there that I met my best friend, Mary, and the love of my life, Calvin. I’ve spent nearly every second of the past four years with these two individuals: for that alone, I am eternally indebted to Canisius. I got involved on campus immediately, joining the dance team, the Society of Pre-Health Professionals, a research lab with Dr. O’Brien, Colleges Against Cancer, the Public Health Committee, volunteered at ENERGY, Danceability and Compeer and, finally, I worked at a consignment store! Life was amazing.
As the story goes, the pandemic began. That same January, my grandpa and papa were both diagnosed with terminal cancer. I quit my job and the dance team, stepped down from my involvement and closed myself off from the world as the world locked down. My papa passed July 13, 2020. My professors were extremely supportive during these difficult times, and Calvin and Mary continued to push me even when I found I no longer wanted to fight for school. I managed to excel academically, remaining a biology major in the honors program.
Being drawn to writing, I took my first creative writing class with Dr. Cochrane in the spring of 2020. Dr. Cochrane changed my life. He opened my mind and heart to the endless possibilities of writing and enabled me to study in Ireland at the Yeats summer school through a full Canisius scholarship, allowing me to visit where my papa was from and visit his family.
I realized that I could combine my passions for medicine and writing by picking up a creative writing minor. His class gave me an outlet for my grief. When my grandpa passed away my junior year, I decided to write my honors thesis as a memoir of my grandpa and papa, which I then got to present in front of my nana, family, best friend, boyfriend and all the professors who had supported me along the way. Every professor, peer and advisor has encouraged me to follow my dreams of becoming a doctor, and each has understood the importance of doing so in honor of my grandparents.
Over time, I’ve held leadership positions as the allopathic co-chair for the Society of Pre-Health Professionals and as vice president of the Tri-Beta Biological Society. I have shadowed hundreds of hours with various doctors, gained thousands of hours of clinical experience as a medical assistant at two different family medicine practices, had three other jobs, joined The Griffin, been a resident assistant for three years, been a CEEP research recipient for three years, been inducted into the TriBeta and DiGamma honors societies, received certifications in CPR, First Aid, Stop the Bleed, QPR, Blood Pathogen Safety, Medical Assistant Training, John Hopkins Disease Clusters and environmental health, attended a clinic to help provide care to underserved populations and participated in a trip to learn about patient education with the pre-health department in Ohio. I’ve also attended medical conferences in Syracuse, will get to present my research in Louisville, Kentucky with the biology department, traveled to Atlantic City, NJ with the dance team… the list goes on. Canisius has literally changed my life.
During the worst times of my life, my peers and professors have lifted me up. All of the amazing friends of mine who have provided support over the past few years are not to go unnoticed either; there are just too many incredible and inspirational people to mention. Thank you Canisius, from the bottom of my heart, for giving me more than I ever could have hoped for. Whatever happens next in my career, I know that I would not have changed a thing about my undergrad experience. Once a Griff, always a Griff.
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Creating an inclusive learning environment for students of color is the obligation of everyone within a campus community