Alexander Nardone '14

Alumnus Reflects on UNH’s Role in His Success
UNH alum Alex Nardone '14

Alexander Nardone graduated in 2014 with a degree in biology and a minor in Asian studies. The Stratham native will be attending Officer Development School as a commissioned Ensign in the U.S. Navy in June and then entering the Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland.

Following graduation from UNH, Alex spent four years in Japan as an assistant language teacher for the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program, then worked as a medical assistant at Northeast Dermatology Associates in Portsmouth while applying to medical schools. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Alex is fluent in Japanese and enjoyed immersing himself in the Japanese culture and lifestyle while abroad.

COLSA: What are you doing now?

Alex Nardone: I recently finished ended my time working as a medical assistant for Northeast Dermatology Associates and am preparing to head to the U.S. Navy's Officer Development School in Newport, Rhode Island before beginning medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

COLSA: How did your time at UNH prepare you for where you are today?

Alex: UNH gave me the opportunities to perform research through the SURF grant, cultivate leadership skills as a two-year resident assistant, and expand my interest of the culture and language of Japan through wonderful courses by Pamela Ikegami and Professor Yan Lu. As my school is across the street and closely associated with the NIH (Dr. Fauci addressed the graduating class this year), all of these skills will come in handy as a medical student and future medical officer serving in military hospitals around the world.

COLSA: Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10?

Alex: In five years, I plan to work as a flight surgeon, caring for our Navy's pilots' medical needs for a couple years before beginning a surgical residency. In 10 years, I hope to be working as a surgeon at Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa, Japan.

COLSA: What do you know now that you wish you'd known while an undergrad?

Alex: I wish I had known about all the support that was available to me while I was a student at UNH. For example, I did not use the Online Writing Lab (OWL) until years AFTER I graduated, when a staff member helped me via e-mail by editing my personal statement for medical school. I would have tried to begin research as a freshman as well in order to gain more experience.

COLSA: What person or course most influenced you while at UNH? How?

Alex: My hall director, Shane Baker, was a supportive mentor who chose me as one of his RAs and spent a lot of time helping me to grow and mature into the person I am today. I remember very clearly the conversation we had in which he helped me make the tough decision to delay applying to medical school and gain world experience teaching English in Japan. I ended up spending four years in rural Japan after graduating, and it was the best time I have ever had.

COLSA: What advice do you have for students interested in your field?

Alex: If you are interested in medicine, definitely start accumulating hours of "clinical experience" as soon as possible. This could be anything from a few hours a month volunteering at a hospital to joining the team at McGregor EMS. Medical schools are looking for prospective students who have displayed consistent and long-term interest in pursing medicine as a career.

Also look into what your professors are currently researching. If you find something you think you would like to help out with, let them know! If you think you would like to become a military physician, make sure you pay attention in BIOL 400, because a military physician should be coming in to answer questions. If you are interested in Japan, speak with an advisor about pursuing a semester abroad if you have the time for it

COLSA: What do you miss most about UNH?

Alex: Those few absolutely perfect days in early September and May where everyone is out relaxing on the quad and I am playing soccer or frisbee with my friends.

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