Congratulations Class of 2010

The Senior Year Experience

When asked about her future plans, senior Jenna Piccininni responded with enthusiasm. Piccininni is going to medical school after graduation and will most likely attend New York University School of Medicine in Manhattan.

An interest in medicine started at a young age for Piccininni. She had always been interested in the sciences, but once her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she knew she wanted to attend a college with a notable pre-med program, which led her directly to Muhlenberg.

Piccininni is a biology major and economics minor. She has had an extensive course load throughout these past four years, in addition to job shadowing and internships. The summer after her freshman year, Piccininni did oncology research where she worked on charts, archives, databases and statistical analyses with different types of radiation treatment. During the summer after her junior year, she went abroad to Copenhagen, Denmark, where she was a part of the Human Health and Disease Program. This program gave her the opportunity to hone a multitude of clinical skills. Last summer, she shadowed a plastic surgeon. Piccininni also shadowed 'Berg alum Dr. Ray Singer of Lehigh Valley Hospital, where she would scrub in on his surgeries three days a week. It was this experience that prompted her interest in surgery.

Piccininni described the first surgery she scrubbed in "To see the heart was amazing. It is incredible to watch the heart beat on its own". Piccininni learned a great deal from Dr. Singer and valued every moment she was given to learn from such a distinguished surgeon.

As part of the medical school application process, Jenna took the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in January 2009 and participated in admission interviews. After that process, Piccininni was accepted to NYU, Emory and Georgetown.

If there is one piece of advice that Piccininni can offer fellow students interested in a career in medicine, it would be to do as many internships as possible. She also recommends her peers to research and visit the schools of their interest. She fell in love with NYU when she visited it, but it was not one of her first choices at the beginning of her search. One final tip would be to visit studentdoctor.net, which is a website she had visited to read articles on health professions, and see what other students had written about medical schools and their experiences.

Despite Piccininni's rigorous schedule throughout the years, she still finds time to be involved in the Muhlenberg community. She is a member of Muhlenberg's student government, a member of the Knit Wits, a biology tutor, a workshop tutor and a lab assistant. She also served last semester on the Board of Muhlenberg Pre-Health Association and the Board of Colleges Against Cancer.

With graduation coming up, Piccininni does not feel like she will be making a huge transition since she will be going back to school. She is excited about the thought of most likely living in New York City. As for now though, with summer approaching, Piccininni plans to go backpacking through Europe with a fellow classmate from Muhlenberg. She is very excited to start her next chapter in her life and thinks Muhlenberg has prepared her well!


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