Alumni Spotlight: Karen Levy '13
OD Candidate Class of 2017
SUNY College of Optometry
My Widener Experience
why did you decide to major in biology?
I wanted to have a career in the healthcare field for as long as I can remember. The best way to get a solid foundation for graduate school is by studying the basic sciences. Majoring in biology not only gives you the building blocks necessary for understanding pathology, but it also allows you to get hands-on experience in the laboratory and in the field. The personalized biology curriculum at Widener helps solidify your interest in science and allows you to find your niche in the scientific community.
who was your favorite professor at widener? why?
My favorite professor at Widener was absolutely Dr. Itzick Vatnick. The biology program is small and intimate, which really allows you to get to know
your teachers and vice versa. Dr. Vatnick's love for research is contagious. My transition
into college was made much easier by having a teacher take an interest in my own growth.
From freshman year on, I was able to do my own scientific research under Dr. Vatnick. Through this experience, I learned so much more than I would have
in any classroom. He was always able to push me to live up to my potential and made
sure that I was always making decisions that would be in my best interest for the
future. Without Dr. Vatnick, my college and future experiences would have been vastly
My Professional Experience
how has widener prepared you for life after college?
The small classes at Widener allowed me to gain a thorough understanding of the sciences needed for medical school. More importantly, Widener gave me the opportunity to take on leadership roles early on in my career. This taught me to be confident in my decisions and how to get my ideas heard. These skills have become more important in my graduate studies. I am not afraid to express my opinion, and I am confident enough to take charge of my situation when necessary.
what advice would you give a prospective student considering your major?
A major in biology can be anything you want it to be. If you want to go on trips to the rain forest, you can do that. If you want to do research in your own lab, you can. If you want to learn enough to get into medical school, you can do that too! My best advice is to go to a school that gives you all of these opportunities and make sure that you take as much away from the experience as you can.