William Clark never guessed that when he decided to leave Philadelphia to attend a community college where he could live away from home, he would also find a place that feels like it's exactly where he belongs.
"I actually found NCC through a Google search," Clark says. "I was looking for a community college with dorms, and when I saw that NCC was an option, it led me to the website where I applied. At that point, I had always wanted to go to med school, so I decided on biological sciences here. Then, after taking a chemistry class with [Assistant Professor of Chemistry William] Magilton last semester, I decided to get into biochemistry when I transfer."
Clark says that it was Magilton's informative manner of teaching that has inspired him to be the best student he can possibly be. He points out that Magilton, along with Professor of Biology, Dr. Sharon Lee Bond, are experts in their fields and open up new possibilities for students like himself. Clark is also a SMaRT scholar, which means that he receives assistance from a federal grant that pays students to prepare for science and technology careers. The experiences offered to SMaRT scholars – including off-campus meetings with other professionals in their fields – have all helped to contribute to the feeling that NCC has already helped to positively shape Clark during his two semesters here.
"I'm willing to try anything," says Clark, who is also a member of Student Leadership, the Honors program, and the science and engineering clubs. "The Student Leadership group did a retreat in New Jersey, and we're going to Baltimore to attend a campus sustainability event. One day I hope to be leading a team of medical professionals, so I consider this experience very valuable. Also, the Honors program has been able to challenge me. I've really refined my writing skills."
With so much on his plate, it would be understandable if Clark had a difficult time trying to balance his academics and extracurricular activities. While he says that it can be difficult, he realizes that has to focus on getting the work done. His hopes of eventually one day going into neurosurgery are riding on his academic performance, and he's already got a long list of potential transfer schools in mind. For now, he's focusing on one major goal: he'd like to graduate from NCC with honors.
"That's what I really want to focus on. I'm also applying to honors colleges," says Clark. "I just still can't believe how much Northampton has felt like a home to me, though. I love Philadelphia, but the Lehigh Valley is home to me now, too."
Name: William Clark
Program Major: Biological Science
Projected Graduation Date: 2015