Stephanie Michel: No Limits


photo Photo Credit: Vanessa Michel

First-generation college student Stephanie Michel knows that despite any obstacles that may lay in her path, she can, with the support of her family, accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

“I learned not to limit myself because of my current situation,” says Michel. “I learned to connect with who I am and saw that, like the saying goes, ‘My current situation was not my final destination.’”

This month, Michel will graduate with a degree in psychology. But her achievements go far beyond earning her diploma.

Michel recently accepted an offer to be part of the highly competitive Summer Public Health Scholars Program at Columbia University, which aims to educate students about public health and biomedical science careers.

Michel will begin the internship just days after graduation. She will spend a week at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and then travel to New York to work at the Columbia University Medical Center, where she will be paired with a mentor who will guide her through public health courses and sites, as well as field trips and preparations for the Graduate Record Examination.

After the internship ends this summer, Michel hopes to continue working within Columbia or to become a research assistant while she applies to public health graduate programs in the fall.

Research is nothing new to Michel. She recently presented at the 2017 National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Memphis. Her work, conducted in collaboration with Bridget Hearon, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, focuses on Loving Kindness Meditation, a type of meditation that creates social connection and compassion for oneself and others, and the ways in which such meditation can be utilized to combat body image dissatisfaction.

Michel also presented her research last September at the Penn Honors Diversity Symposium at the University of Pennsylvania.

Active on campus, Michel serves as president of the Commuter Student Association, and is a Student Government Association representative for the Lion Diplomats and the Caribbean Culture Club. She also serves as a Certified Peer Educator with Gable Health and Public Safety, and is a member of Psi Chi, the psychology honors society.  

- Francheska Taveras ’17


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