While she remains firmly focused on the goal of completing medical school and eventually working as a neurosurgeon, Annechael Wood (Biology, '13), understands there are many steps along the way to achieving her objective. One of her plans has been to spend some time after graduation in a full-time job to help pay for medical school, a milestone she met in January when she advanced through a competitive selection process and began training as a medical device reporting/product performance specialist at Medtronic, a leading medical technology and services company.
Wood came to the University from Gloucester County College in New Jersey, now The Rowan College of Gloucester County. As a transfer student, she was required to complete BIOL3700, in which she learned about the many research positions available on campus. “I started in Dr Wei Shen's Lab and moved on to Dr. Angela Panoskalpsis-Mortari’s lab,” she says. “I worked first as a volunteer, then eventually earned eight credits for my work on lung fibrosis and how the lung matrix affects cell function.”
Wood's interests are wide-ranging and include a focus on world health. A Ghana native, she returned home for a month undergraduate opportunity to volunteer and shadow local doctors. That experience led her to partner with her cousin, a dentist, to form Reach Out Global Foundation, which focuses on the basic health needs of women and children in Ghana. Her chance to volunteer abroad was important to her college experience, and she urges students to take advantage of global study opportunities.
As she reaches yet another stage of her journey to fulfilling her dreams, she encourages others to remain persistent during academic or personal setbacks. “A biology major doesn’t just mean medical school—it can take you a lot of places. Your GPA is just a number, and it doesn’t determine who you are as a person,” she says. “If something goes wrong, you need to shake it off and keep pushing and never give up!”
— Julie Kendrick