Alumna Earns Full Scholarship to PCOM

Friday, September 30, 2016

Saint Joseph’s University alumna Emily Bilyk ’16 has been awarded the Inaugural Mason W. Pressly and Oscar John Snyder Scholarship to attend the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Of more than 250 first-year students, the former chemical biology major is one of only two students to receive the full-tuition award.

“I am extraordinarily grateful to PCOM and its benefactors for this amazing opportunity,” says Bilyk.

As a student at Saint Joseph’s, Bilyk worked as a teaching assistant in biology and environmental science labs. Through this experience, she says she has been able to engage with science from a teaching perspective, which has helped her realize her goal of working as a teacher within a community.

Bilyk, who hails from Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania, credits the science faculty for helping her get where she is today. “Their enthusiasm for teaching and going the extra mile to help students has been vital in conquering the complex material necessary for my future path.”

Edwin Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, was a mentor to Bilyk in her biophysics research. In his lab, she studied the dimerization of mucin 1, a protein associated with many forms of cancer. In spring 2016, she received a Travel Award to present her research at the Biophysical Society’s 60th annual meeting in Los Angeles, CA.

“I was able to learn more about the field of biophysics, to see the amazing work being done by others in the field, and to engage in scientific collaboration as I discussed my work with other biophysicists,” says Bilyk of the conference.

For now, her plans for the future include “a lot of studying”, but after that, she is considering a career in pediatrics. “I am keeping an open mind and looking forward to finding a pathway that allows me to work with and for others in medicine in a way that is suited to my strengths and interests,” she says.

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