Prospective Students

Cesar Clarke

  • Graduation Year: 2018

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Major: Biological Sciences

Minor: Chemistry


How did you decide on your major?

I volunteered at a local community health care center in Jamaica where I shadowed the nursing staff. I was amazed based on the questions that the nursing staff knew to ask to solve the varying ailments of each patient and that event confirmed that medicine is what I wanted to do. This internship triggered my interest to go to medical school. My advisor from my previous institution (Raritan Valley Community College) showed me the statistics that a significant amount of students that majored in biology got accepted into medical school. My advisor also told me that the material covered under the biology major would prepare me for the content that I will see in medical school. This is why I decided to declare a major in biological science.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

The topic that resonates and appeals to me the most is human physiology. Human physiology is about the different organ systems in our body and their functions. I find it fascinating to learn about myself and even more so that this knowledge is applicable to the human race and must be understood to treat diseases. The biology department has been a major factor in my success at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. To be more specific, the School of Environmental and Biological Science advisors helped me to effectively navigate degree navigator and assist me with taking the necessary classes that medical school recommends. I remember being worried that I would not have enough time to fulfill my experience based learning requirement, but thanks to the biology department and ODASIS, I was able to do a summer program that counted towards that requirement. I admire the flexibility of the department with respect to which internship fits the requirement to fulfill the experience-based requirement. With that said, I would advise all new students to keep in contact with their advisors and always send potential internships to their advisors because the internship maybe applicable to your degree.

Do you have favorite class/professor within your major?

Yes I do. My favorite class was System Physiology with Dr. Merrill. This is my favorite class because I enjoy human physiology and this was the foundation of this course. Dr. Merrill is my favorite professor because he is down to earth, explains thoroughly and makes it evident that he cares about his students’ education. He gave me advice for medical school, which I appreciate up to this day.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

My favorite academic experience outside my major was when I did Northeast Regional Alliance (NERA) med prep III in summer 2017. This program aids in the preparation of minority and disadvantaged students for medical school by increasing their competitiveness via research and shadowing experiences. Phase III of the program exposes students to research and allow students to work alongside with a Doctor by providing assistance to his/her research project via execution of the necessary lab techniques. I did biomedical research about stem cells with Dr Fraidenraich. We utilized the gene knock out method to study the effects that two specific genes had on cardiovascular development and Red blood cell production.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I am a member of the Biology Club and the West Indian Student Organization (WISO). WISO is an organization that brings people from the Caribbean, people of Caribbean descents and people who are interested in the Caribbean culture together to form a closer relationship with each other. This is done by hosting social events throughout the semester.

What are your plans following graduation?

I will be taking a gap year before I enroll into medical school in Fall 2019. I am planning to work as either a lab technician or a medical scribe within my gap year. During my summer 2018, I am planning to do an internship at Rowan but that is yet to be decided.

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