Featured Master's Students

Darcy G.

Darcy G.Darcy G.Darcy works at C.R. Bard, Inc. (Davol) and is a mother of two young girls. After receiving her B.S. in Veterinary Sciences from Becker College, and working for a few years at C.R. Bard, Inc. (Davol), Darcy decided to pursue her Master’s of Science (ScM) to expand her knowledge base. Darcy continued to work at C.R. Bard while she worked on her degree part-time. Since graduating from Brown, Darcy received a promotion at her company. Here is Darcy's story:

What made you decide to attend Brown?

Darcy: I decided to attend Brown after looking at the various graduate degrees offered in the northeast and determined that the classes at Brown were most relevant to my career choice and my goal of expanding my knowledge base.  I wanted a geographically close university that had a graduate degree program that fit into my schedule with a solid reputation.  Brown offered much flexibility to take the courses that fit my interest most.

What school did you come from and what did you study as an undergraduate?

Darcy: Before Brown, I attended Becker College in Leicester, MA for two undergraduate degrees.  I received an Associate in Science in Veterinary Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Science (Laboratory Animal Medicine Concentration).  I am also a Certified Veterinary Technician in Massachusetts, a Surgical Research Specialist, and a Registered Laboratory Animal Technologist.

How was the work/life balance during your studies in the Master's program? Was the program something you felt was doable as a working parent?

Darcy: The work / life balance during my Master’s degree was crazy-busy and challenging.  But it was a challenge I was up for.  I had wonderful support from my employer, Brown and my family; or it could not have been done!  All hands were on deck and I cannot thank each and every one enough for that.  I did feel the program was doable as a working parent, so long as the support system exists.  If any one of the factors in the equation were not on board to begin with, it may not be doable.  Since I am a persistent person who does not quit, I set into the program with the end goal of a degree in mind and would not go off track. 

What did you get from your Master’s Degree at Brown?

Darcy: I got a lot from my Master’s degree at Brown.  I learned different aspects about research that I had not been exposed to.  It has enabled me to speak more intelligently about certain aspects of biotechnology that I could not before my classes at Brown.  I have made some great friendships and formed connections to some valuable resources that I would not have otherwise.  My degree has also opened doors in my career that would not have opened otherwise.

Where are you now and how did Brown help you get there if it did?

Darcy: I am currently employed as a Staff Scientist / Pre-Clinical Surgeon at C.R. Bard, Inc. a large multi-national medical device company in Warwick, Rhode Island. Shortly after earning my degree, I received a promotion which has also helped me grow to the next level.  I also am a guest lecturer and adjunct faculty at Becker College.  Brown helped me to refine my presentation skills and gain more confidence in speaking with students at Becker.

What did you like about Brown?

Darcy: I really enjoyed the courses (both content and design) that I took and the professors that taught them.  The courses fit into my schedule fairly well with work and home.  The freedom to choose the classes I needed was helpful as well.  I enjoyed the collaboration with the professors throughout my years at Brown.

Given the outcome of your degree would you make the same decision to attend Brown?

Darcy: YES!  In fact, so much so that I would love the opportunity to continue my education for a PhD in Biotechnology at Brown in the near future.  I am taking one course this semester.  Additionally, I recommended and recruited two colleagues into the program since my Master’s degree experience.

 

Steven S.

Steven SSteven SSteven came to Brown from Loyola University of Chicago where he studied Biology. Steven decided to pursue a master’s degree because he was torn between going to medical school and graduate school. Steven used the Master’s at Brown as a way to bridge his time and make a decision about his future. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Pathology at Duke University's School of Medicine. Here is Steven's story: 

What made you decide to attend Brown?

Steven: I decided to attend Brown because I was torn between going to medical school or graduate school. I wanted to take a year or two off to think about this decision, but not completely stop my education so I chose to do my Master's. I chose Brown because of many reasons including: flexibility of the program, the faculty, school standing, location, and potential networking.

What school did you come from and what did you study as an undergraduate?

Steven:  I came from Loyola University of Chicago where I studied Biology.

What was your Master’s thesis?

Steven: My research focused on drug delivery and discovery specifically with Staphylococcus aureus in various animal models. I collaborated on a paper with an associate professor in my lab and it was published this year in Future Medicinal Chemistry.

What did you get from your Master’s Degree at Brown?

Steven: From my degree at Brown, I learned various lab techniques, vast amounts of general knowledge in my field, as well as what I wanted to do with my future.

Where are you now and how did Brown help you get there if it did?

Steven: I am now doing my PhD in Pathology at Duke University's School of Medicine. I was able to get here through my experiences in the lab and networking with various faculty and physicians.

What did you like about Brown?

Steven: I really enjoyed many of the courses offered at Brown. All of the professors were very welcoming and more than happy to assist you in anyway even if you never worked with them. It was a very open and strong community.

Given the outcome of your degree would you make the same decision to attend Brown?

Steven: Yes, the school is wonderful and I would have been happy to spend more time there.

Anything else you would like to add?

Steven: The most important thing I learned was to find a lab and PI that fits you the most. The research is nearly insignificant if you are not happy with your environment and who you work with.

 

Rob W.

Rob W.Rob W.

Rob, a Rhodes Island native, attended Connecticut College as an undergraduate, and came to Brown to pursue a Master’s of Arts in Biotechnology. Rob used his Master’s and Brown connections to find internships and to boost his resume for Dental School. He is currently in his clinical years at the University of New England College of Dental Medicine. Here is Rob's experience:

 

 

What made you decide to attend Brown? 

Rob: Growing up in Rhode Island, I was very familiar with Brown University. As a kid, I attended many athletic games, summer camps and events on the Brown campus. It was always my hope that I would be able to earn a degree from the university at some point in my academic career. After graduating from undergrad, I developed an interest in biotechnology and was hoping to pursue this interest in an academic setting. This came about while working in research at Rhode Island Hospital where there is much overlap between the hospital and Brown. So for me, the only place I could imagine myself continuing my education was at Brown.

What school did you come from and what did you study as an undergraduate? 

Rob:  I completed my undergraduate studies at Connecticut College. My major was biochemistry/ cellular and molecular biology.

What made you decide to get a Masters of Arts?

Rob: During the first year of my masters, I was working as a research technician at Rhode Island Hospital. I felt that I was getting enough exposure to research and wasn’t feeling overly inclined to start another research project. Additionally, I knew I wouldn’t be pursuing a career in research, so it didn’t seem as essential to work towards an MS.

What did you get from your Master’s Degree at Brown?

Rob: I always tell people that Brown gave me the opportunity to learn how to learn. During my undergraduate career, academics often took a backseat to athletics, so my study methods were never really conducive to actual learning. At Brown, I went to class because I wanted to, not because I had to. I was able to develop my own way to learn and retain information and it’s been an invaluable tool.

Brown also opened up many doors for me outside of the University. With its strong alumni network and a great job search platform, I was able to set up meaningful internships during my second year of study. I worked in a biotech consulting firm, owned and operated by a Brown alumnus, for several months. I also worked for a biotech venture capital firm, (I found the position through Brown’s job search site) and following my internship there, I was hired. Perhaps most importantly, this degree helped bolster my dental school application and allowed me to be accepted to my top choice for dental school.

Where are you now and how did Brown help you get there if it did? 

Rob:  I’m currently in my third year at the University of New England College of Dental Medicine.

What did you like about Brown?

Rob: What I most appreciated from the master’s program was the ability to choose the classes I was interested in, allowing me to really get what I wanted out of the program. I felt like I was able to build my own master’s within the biotechnology program that was really tailored to my interests.

Given the outcome of your degree would you make the same decision to attend Brown?

Rob: I would most certainly make the same choice to attend Brown.

 

Rebecca W.

Rebecca W.Rebecca W.Rebecca, a Brown Undergraduate who studied Biology and Visual Art, decided to do a 5th Year ScM in the Biotechnology Program. During her 5th Year, Rebecca had the chance to customize her curriculum to fit her interests and did a Master’s thesis on bat echolocation. Rebecca also participated in a co-op experience at C.R. Bard, in which she got exposure to the Biotechnology Industry.

What made you decide to stay at Brown for the 5th Year Master’s?

Rebecca: I learned the foundations as an undergraduate at Brown, and when I discovered I had the chance to continue at the school I loved and gain a Master's Degree in the process, I decided to take it. I enjoyed the same course flexibility during my Master's studies as I did during my undergraduate studies, which allowed me to curate my academic experience to explore the intersections between the scientific thinking of biology and the creative thinking of the arts.

What was your research in at Brown?

Rebecca: I worked in Dr. James Simmons' Bat Lab in the Neuroscience department for my research. The Simmons Lab studies bat behavior, and my research specifically focused on bat echolocation.

What did you get from your Master’s Degree at Brown?

Rebecca: My Master's Degree from Brown gave me the chance to continue studying at my alma mater with a more focused academic lens. It gave me the opportunity to participate in a co-op where I learned about the biotechnology industry through first-hand work experience, and where I gained insight into my career path goals. And it gave me friendships with smart, interesting people who share my interests.

Where are you now and how did Brown help you get there?

Rebecca: Once my Master's co-op experience at C.R. Bard, Inc (Davol) finished, I moved to Boston. I now work at Novarica, a research and consulting company for insurance technology. While it is a deviation from biotechnology, Novarica was founded by a Brown graduate, and my time at the company has helped me to gain perspective, as well as work with really smart, driven people. Additionally, I gained some contact with the world of marketing through my co-op program at Davol, which was eye-opening. In the future, I hope to do marketing for a biological company, by combining the scientific knowledge that I gained from my studies at Brown with the creativity and skills I have learned through my other working experiences.

What did you like about Brown?

Rebecca: Brown is a great environment for someone with diverse interests like me. I had the freedom and flexibility to create a personalized course of study with engaging professors and thought-provoking subjects that catered to my passions. I don't think that I would have been able to get the education that I wanted, and that I got at Brown, at another school. The community at Brown is also so inclusive and welcoming, with people (students and professors alike) who are eager to learn and share their thoughts.

Given the outcome of your degree would you make the same decision to stay at Brown?

Rebecca: I absolutely would decide to stay at Brown.