Class Year:

Biology and Chemistry

Religious Studies

Getting lost in a great novel.
Going on walks throughout campus and along the gorge.
Undertaking spontaneous activities/events.
Acrobatic Yoga.

President of Niagara University Men's Club Soccer
Research Assistant
Peer Tutor
Student Panel Leader
Summer/Fall Orientation Leader
Teacher's Assistant/Recitation Leader
Member of Biology Club, Circle K, American Chemical Society (ACS)

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The First of Many More

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Hello, all! A happy holidays to everyone and welcome to the year of 2014, according to the Gregorian calendar!

Break is soon coming to an end — I have three more days amongst my family and friends here in little ol' Canton, Ohio, until I travel to Penn State's medical university for a shadowing/informal interview opportunity. I am beyond stoked! I've talked to several of my professors about how to conduct myself, questions to ask, and even what attire to wear. We concluded that I should actually behave myself (I know, I'm sad, too), I should not ask what their favorite color is, at least not as an opener, and that I should wear my gray suit the first day and my black pinstripe the second day, courtesy of my days working at Men's Wearhouse.

Currently, it is 2:30 a.m. and I arrived home from the movies (Wolf of Wall Street was amazing, although more graphic than I anticipated!) about an hour ago and I have been sitting in front of laptop working on different applications I need to complete; the list is quite long.

First, I have the Niagara University pre-health committee application to complete since I may have to apply to medical schools soon and a letter of recommendation from this group would honor me and hopefully increase my chances for attending medical school. Then, there are the multitude of summer internships for undergraduate research at differing institutions through the NIH and NSF; currently, I am applying to 13 NSF REU internships and three NIH internships. Finally, there is the Letter of Inquiry to MCC or Mennonite Central Committee, which is national body of the Mennonite Church that I am a part of (Shout out to First Mennonite of Canton, Ohio! Love you all!). Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me and I have put this work off a little too long so time to burn the midnight oil.

I'm actually right in the middle of the letter of inquiry but I had a thought, one that has been on my mind for a long time but until now, I didn't really know what it was. So here goes”¦

Passion. The online dictionary states it is “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling” and the examples provided were love and hate. I believe everyone has a passion and I would talk on my own.

If you've read my blog a bit, hopefully you know that I want to pursue a career in medicine. I do. I have a passion for science, primarily biochemical science. More importantly, I have a passion to help others. My goal is to blend these passions together as a medical scientist and provide care and support to those that I can.

Now comes my thought — how can I explain this? Sure, I'm doing that now but you aren't looking into my eyes and hearing my words as I speak them. Have you ever seen passion in a person's movements, words, or eyes? It is breathtaking to me. There is nothing I respect more than passion. If ever you have the unfortunate luck of being forced to listen to me rant, in person, about what I want to do and why I want to do it, I hope I emanate that powerful emotion because some days I feel overwhelmed and the need to rush. Then again, I'm not very good at sitting still, ask my mother.

These applications want me to explain why I deserve this position, what led me to it. Passion to do more, to help, to discover. But how do I explain my passion? I sat here for five minutes thinking of a way to describe my passion for science and I couldn't think of anything that didn't sound creepy (ha ha). I mean listen to this: “My eyes light with fire at the thought of working for hours attending to bacteria and their parasitic viruses.” Exactly my point. Although trying to come up with something to say made me realize that saying I have a passion for science would technically be incorrect. Instead, I have a passion for knowledge and it happens to relate to scientific knowledge. I guess? It sounded better in my head at least.

I challenge you to find what your passions are and to seek out someone else's. Listen to their words and listen to their emotions with the words.

As I conclude, I ask that you forgive my young mind and its endless wanderings. So with a farewell, I tip my glass to you all and ask that you pray I don't tweak out from excitement during my visit to Penn State.

”˜Til next time!


“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” — Hardy D. Jackson


James “Jay-Boy” Lioi