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Lyle Suh ‘18
BS Biology, minor in Chemistry 

Lyle Suh

Why Stony Brook University?
Deciding which college you should go to is never an easy process; it’s essentially determining your next four years! I know when I was accepted to Stony Brook University, I realized that it would provide all the important factors I had hoped for in a college career. The research environment seemed to be incredibly active, the classes seemed varied, and there seemed to be endless support systems in academics and other aspects. The decision was easy after I saw how much Stony Brook had to offer - the opportunities were endless.

On her major and minor: 
I majored in biology (neuroscience specialization) and minored in chemistry. When I first came to Stony Brook, I knew I wanted to study the natural sciences, but I was unsure as to which. Throughout the introductory courses, I soon came to develop a strong interest in the field of biology and even chemistry. Studying the molecular systems and piecing together the mechanisms that underlie life itself -- it just drew me in. Finally, when I took my first neurobiology course, I fell in love with the field of neuroscience and this ultimately led to my specialization.  

The biology program in the College of Arts and Sciences is thoroughly built so that you can explore your options and interest without falling behind in the college curriculum. For me, this was also a huge determining factor when deciding my major. Being a biology major gave me a lot of room to see what I was truly passionate about and when I did, I was able to really learn in-depth with various upper division courses.  

On her favorite classes: 
My favorite course was BIO339 (Molecular Development of the Nervous System). The reason is quite simple: it was the course that made me realize what I loved. The way Professor Howard Sirotkin lectured was different than any course I took. He explained the applications and the real world techniques, which allowed us to develop a mind to think like researchers or neurobiologists. In every lecture, I was not merely learning simple facts/information but rather how to see and interpret those facts and information. BIO339 was unlike any course and it’s definitely a course I hope many people get to take.

Interests and accomplishments: 
During my undergrad career, I was interested in staying involved on campus and trying to bring about positive changes through my various roles. As a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council, I devoted my efforts to vocalize students' concerns. While I was a CARE team member of Red Watch Band, I strived to raise awareness in our campus community about the dangers of toxic drinking and aimed to contribute positive changes in our drinking culture. When I founded a non-profit organization, “She’s the First at Stony Brook,” which raises scholarships and awareness about girls education in low-income countries, I wanted to change the way we think about education as a given right and how it is still a privilege in many places. My strong interests in education also led me to serve as a Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Leader and a tutor at the Academic Success and Tutoring Center.

My personal passion for research has allowed me to take part in Stony Brook’s 2017 iGEM team and compete in an international competition at this year’s iGEM jamboree at Boston. And because I loved being involved with iGEM, I was also a Teaching Assistant for the 2018 team. Furthermore, I was fortunate enough to be a URECA scholar for the summer of 2017 and present at this year’s URECA symposium.  

Awards & Accolades:
Summa Cum Laude
Dean’s List (all semesters)

Throughout my time here at Stony Brook, I have received the ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement Award’, the URECA scholarship award, and the departmental ‘Colbert Scholarship’. As a sophomore, I joined the ‘National Society of Collegiate Scholars’ and Sigma Beta Honor Society. During my junior I was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Finally, during my senior year I was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and the Undergraduate Recognition Award in Academic Excellence.

Plans for post-graduation: 
I will be taking a gap year in hopes to gain more exposure to the research field before pursuing a MD/PhD. During that time, I will also be travelling abroad conducting volunteer work in order to broaden my understandings of clinical environments in foreign countries.  

Career aspirations: 
I plan to enter the medical field and continue to be involved in neuroscience research. I aspire to find a way to combine my passion for medicine and neuroscience. While I am certain of my drive to attend medical school, I hope to find a specialty that embodies my interests as well as my desire to incorporate the research aspect to medical studies.

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