Samantha Leef ‘19
UNH welcomes students like Samantha Leef ’19, who returned to school to earn a second undergraduate degree, this time in Biomedical Science: Medical Microbiology. She plans to apply to medical school following a gap year spent volunteering and doing research.
Samantha Leef: I am a non-traditional student returning several years after my first degree in music performance. Coming back to school and rising to the level expected in challenging biomedical courses makes me proud. Being considered someone that my peers can come to for study help is something that I cherish.
Leef: Through teaching yoga and rock climbing I developed a deep appreciation for the human body and mind. That love for helping others led me to work in the medical field where I became a medical assistant at an otorhinolaryngology [ear, nose and throat] clinic. Over the past three years, I shadowed the doctors in the OR, assisted with in-office procedures, and learned the importance of obtaining a thorough patient history. Working with them inspired me to want to become a physician of their caliber. I am driven by that realization and work towards that goal with the support of my amazing husband, family, and friends.
When I chose to come back to school, I wanted to major in something that I was passionate about. Microbiology is an integral part of medicine and public health.
Leef: When I chose to come back to school, I wanted to major in something that I was passionate about. Microbiology is an integral part of medicine and public health. The courses in this major has given me the tools for success in my field and future goals.
Leef: I am currently starting the 2020 medical school application cycle. I would like to continue research throughout my time there. My gap year will be spent volunteering as well as gaining clinical and research experience.
Leef: The professors here are gems. They make difficult material accessible and encourage curiosity. Through that curiosity, I was inspired to compare the auditory and balance sensory systems of cephalopods to that of humans to further understand their malfunctions.
Leef: Try not to make assumptions. It is always more beneficial to communicate with the school, your teachers, and your TAs about your interests, and needs. You might be surprised what opportunities are available if you just ask. Faculty like Dr. Montminy are always interested in helping you find a goal to work toward.
Leef: I love UNH for the community that is fostered here. Volunteering with students for St. Jude, ASL club, and OnBelay had a huge impact on me.