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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Three Down, One To Go.

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And a hello to all! It has been quite some time since my last post. A lot has happened (as always), and I wanted to wait until my life calmed down a bit before updating you on what I've been doing.

I guess the first big piece of news is that I've finished my third year as an undergraduate at Niagara. Needless to say, I feel old! I'M A STINKIN' SENIOR! I do not like it. At all. It's baffling how quickly the time goes by. I remember just yesterday, I was taking my first tour of campus with my mother and I was being dropped off for orientation. The Class of 2014 will be truly missed and I did let a couple of man tears down my face during their graduations. I salute you all!

As I had said in a previous post, I really enjoyed my classes this semester. I've come to truly appreciate learning for what it is: knowledge rather than a grade. And I think that my desire for a future career in infectious diseases has been cemented. There is something about viruses that peaks my interest. Speaking of viruses, I'll be working on my Honors Thesis for my senior year! My project is the genomic analysis of Staphylococcus (the bacterial genus) bacteriophage (viruses that infect bacteria). I have been working on it already, but this will be my main focus during my senior year.

I have taken the MCAT! I am not sure how I performed yet, I'll find out at the beginning of July. BUT I'M POTENTIALLY DONE - WAHHOOO! Never have I stressed or studied more in a three-week period. I think I called my mother almost every other day and I know that my friends and I freaked out to each other pretty much every day.

Now that that is behind me, I have begun my application to various medical schools. My list is short because I may be working abroad through my mother's church for a year. However, I am going to visit a few schools located near Niagara Falls and Canton to see what programs have what I'm looking for. I will be applying as an M.D./Ph.D. candidate so, hopefully with my credentials, I will get accepted! And we will wait and see how I did on the MCAT”¦

It seems that with each year that goes by I have more to be blessed with, and most of it is thanks to the people at Niagara University. I'm not saying this because I am an orientation leader or my bosses want me to promote NU. I was inducted into several honor societies this semester, one being the President's Society for the Niagara University Honors Program. My involvement in this group has provided me with incredible networking opportunities as well as times to represent the school that I love - and show that this place is amazing.

I witnessed my first surgery as a student, visited two medical schools, saw what it was like to be an M.D./Ph.D., had many laughs with my roommates (and a short-lived prank war), seen what it's like to be a kind and caring doctor when too often we have mediocre or unsatisfying experiences with a medical professional, and managed to finish the hardest year, academically, with a smile on my face. The biggest lesson I have learned is to be proactive and absorb everything. These years are going to lay the foundations down for decades to come so make sure you are prepared (although I have complete faith in the faculty at NU to help you along the way).

Well, that's all from me folks. I'm in Ohio with my family. For once, we are all almost together and I plan on advantage of this time. ”˜til next time.


“If the purpose for learning is to score well on a test, then we have lost the real reason of learning.” - Jeannie Fulbright

James Lioi