Justin Hoffman: Service First
Biochemistry and Pre-Veterinary Medicine
It was an easy decision for Justin Hoffman to join Alpha Phi Omega, Albright’s coed service fraternity. No coercion necessary. His family has deep roots in community service. His dad is an EMT and firefighter. His mom: paramedic. His brother: firefighter and first responder. If fact, Hoffman attended his first firehouse fundraiser in a stroller, eventually graduating to junior volunteer firefighter before attending Albright. His involvement in Alpha Phi Omega is one of his dearest college experiences. “Joining the fraternity was bringing it all together,” says Hoffman, who was active all four years, and served on its executive board.
Hoffman chose Albright because he wanted a smaller school, strong in the sciences. “It was a very welcoming atmosphere. My tour guide was awesome. The people I was meeting were welcoming and reassuring. There was a sense of comradery at Albright,” he reminisces.
He got involved quickly on campus not only with the service fraternity but also symphonic band (percussionist), concert choir, the biology and pre-professional honor societies, a two-year stint with the Ultimate Frisbee club, and more.
All the while, managing his heavy course load in the pre-veterinary tract. “I always wanted to play for the Phillies,” says Hoffman, “but after five hip surgeries and three knee surgeries that went out the window real quick. But I always had a thing for animals so I decided to pursue biochemistry and go to vet school.”
Hoffman completed several internships with local veterinary clinics as well as two ecologically based research projects—Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE)—with Professor Karen Campbell, Ph.D. It was after presenting his ACRE findings at a conference of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science that led him to an internship at University of Pennsylvania and his desire to pursue a doctorate of veterinarian medicine/Ph.D. program.
“I’ll be applying to D.V.M./Ph.D. programs for fall 2019. I hope to work at a veterinary institution where I can apply my teachings and research to benefit veterinary medicine and human medicine in a more translational application.”
In the meantime, Hoffman will be starting his “first big-boy job” in the Bates lab of the microbiology department at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine.