Canon-Mac alum and Washington & Jefferson College senior, Alondra Martinez Osorno, is one of only fifteen students in the nation to win a scholarship from The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP). In addition to paying a significant portion of her undergraduate tuition, the award guarantees her a ten-week summer internship with the NIH, followed by work in the NIH Intramural Research Program for one year upon graduation.
According to the college's Associate Director of Public Relations, Erin Jones, Alondra is a first generation college student, and has fabulous insights about the role diversity and inclusion play in the success of college students and the success of scientific research generally. She has previously interned with Binghamton University’s biomedical engineering research experience for undergraduates, studied fetal medicine at a hospital in Leuven, Belgium, and studied biomaterials through the University of California San Diego bioengineering department (2020). Her ultimate goal is to own a business that makes medical devices that integrate naturally with the body’s systems, providing healthier, more effective treatment for patients.
A graduate of Canon-MacMillan High School in Canonsburg, Pa., Martinez Osorno is now a senior in biophysics and French double major at W&J. While at Canon-McMillan Alondra ranked 79 out of 370, with a GPA of 4.0081. She was in the National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, and the National Art Honor Society. She also took a number of AP Courses.
Alondra says while she was at Canon-Mac she was able to explore all of her interests. It made her aware of different subjects and she really made the effort to take advantage of the different courses that were provided. She challenged herself and prepared for college with the AP courses, even if some of the subjects were not her strengths. Some of those AP courses included: AP Psychology, AP US History, AP World History, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Biology, AP French, and AP Computer Science. She says she actually learned the most from the challenging courses that were not her strengths,
"I think one thing that I learned from these courses is that even though I struggled in my Calculus courses, it was still beneficial to take those courses to get an initial exposure to upper level math."
Alondra says that the teachers in the school district who helped her advance in the long run were her ESL Teachers including, Ms. Pleskovich and Mrs. Chuey, as well as her kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Jeswilkowski.
"They were really my rocks in elementary school and helped set me up for success in the higher grades. I learned English very quickly and that helped with my confidence in participating and engaging in class."
It's clear Alondra made the most out of her time at Canon-Mac. She says it truly enriched her academically and helped set her up for her future successes at W&J and beyond. Congratulations Alondra and thanks for making Canon-Mac proud!
Learn more about Alondra, the National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program and Washington & Jefferson College in their official press release and the source of most of this information from this article here.