Sultan Kaur '21
Magna Cum Laude
BS Interdisciplinary Biology
Minor in Writing and Rhetoric
Where are you originally from?
I am originally from Punjab, India. I moved to Queens, NY when I was three years old. I grew up in Queens, but, as a first-generation immigrant, I am also a Punjabi at heart.
How did you hear about Stony Brook University?
I heard about Stony Brook University in high school from my counselors as a great college for pre-medical students. I knew I wanted to go into the medical field since high school.
Why Stony Brook?
I chose Stony Brook University because it was an academically recognized and affordable option for me. I never planned to stop with a Bachelor's degree and I will not. I wanted a school that had the resources in terms of research, culture, and academics for my success.
On her major:
My major is Interdisciplinary Biology with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. The body and its function are so fascinating to me. It might be a little selfish, but I like biology because I get to learn how my body works. My minor is in Writing because I find escape in it. When I write, it allows me to concisely express my emotions and thoughts, which are usually a mess in my head.
My favorite class was Microbiology with Prof. Sangeet Honey and Prof. Matthew Schmidt. I will never forget it. I loved learning about bacteria and viruses. They are so small, yet the complexity in structure and potential to harm is so vast.
Interests and accomplishments:
I love to read, take walks in nature, listen to music. I love learning new hairstyles, specifically different ways to braid hair. I love to paint, but I am bad at it.
My greatest achievement is taking my mom for a manicure. This Mother's Day, I took my mom, who recently lost her mom (my grandmother) to get her nails done. The ladies at the nail salon were so sweet and helped her choose a pretty color. When we got home, my mom told me that was the first time she had gotten her nails done since she had come to America (18 years ago with me). She never had the time because she was always taking care of someone - me, my two brothers, or my dad. I was able to take care of her and that is my greatest accomplishment.
Awards & Accolades:
Dean's List from Fall 2017 - Fall 2020
Magna cum Laude
Honors in Biology
I want to be an Emergency room doctor. I will be taking a gap year and apply to medical school in June 2021. I will work in a clinical setting. I also want to do research in my gap year.
Clubs and organizations:
Sikh Student Association Public Relations Officer
Advice for future Seawolves?
Be open. To experiences, new people, conversations, classes, settings. Stony Brook has flaws, otherwise, it could not exist. (And anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Perfect places don't exist). It is so much more than its flaws. There is something about this place that can teach you a lot if you are willing to learn. I am not talking about classes, but the environment. I have seen people learn nothing and seen people change completely. It offers you space and grace to make mistakes and learn from them, so do it. Make mistakes. Cry in the library. Get West at 1 am. Pull an all-nighter on pure whim. Pull an all-nighter because you need to finish that paper. Make friends. Lose them. Break your heart and sew it back together. Be open to it all. Good luck :)
Favorite SBU memory:
My favorite memory is the stone wall/ledge outside the Tabler Arts and Activities Center. I have so many memories there - good and bad. I have cried and laughed there too many times to count. All the memories blur together. I saw someone sitting in my spot there one night and I knew it was time for me to graduate. I had seen all that the ledge had to offer and now it was somebody else's turn.
For my generation, unusual times are normal times. A global pandemic that has ravaged the world taking countless lives and continues to do so? That is not what I thought my normal would be. I am grateful to be alive and breathing. I am the eldest and the only daughter of my family about to receive my Bachelor's Degree in Biology. To me, that is enough.