• Graduation Year: 2024


Ariana Dedvukaj square headshot  Major: Biological Sciences

  Minor: Public Health 

  How did you decide on your major?

 Throughout my early education, I found myself extremely fascinated by the processes of natural sciences and all of the complexities of life and science. As I began to take more advanced science courses in high school, I was significantly more interested in my biology class due to the many intersections of smaller-level science and the world as we see it! I also decided that I wanted to pursue a pre-medicine path at Rutgers and the Biological Sciences major seemed most fitting as it contained courses I was interested in, and would allow me to complete the necessary prerequisite courses for medical school. It was the perfect fit for my goals and my passions.

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

 Something so incredible about biology is that it is so dynamic. There are constantly new discoveries that really shape our understanding of life sciences and the world around us. As I aspire to become a physician, the constant new advancements that we are fortunate enough to learn with the major’s coursework are very relevant in healthcare. The breakthroughs discovered through biological research really appeal to me and I have loved learning all about it these past few years.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

My favorite class within my major was definitely my Genetics course. My professor, Dr. Glodowski, was very knowledgeable and passionate about the coursework and I was engaged in each lesson. Because the field of genetics is so dynamic, with developments occurring to this day, I feel as though there is still much to learn and explore in this realm of science. Now that I have a strong concept of genetic concepts and new technologies, thanks to my genetics course, I continue to follow genetics research.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

Outside of my major, one of my favorite academic experiences includes my being an Undergraduate Research Assistant at Herrera Lab. This lab is based at the Child Health Institute of New Jersey. I am assisting in the development of T-cell-based vaccines for infectious diseases. I have been able to apply many of the laboratory concepts learned in my biology classes with the experiments I complete. This has been an extremely rewarding experience.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

 At Rutgers, I have been a member of a number of organizations including GlobeMed, the Albanian Club, AMSA, Phi Sigma Sigma, Dance Marathon/RU4Kids, Into the Light, and more. I also play co-ed Intramural soccer! Outside of school, I love to run and exercise. I also really value family time so I go back home a lot in North Jersey to make sure I get that quality time with my loved ones!

What are your plans following graduation?

 After graduating, I will be taking a gap year. During this time period, I plan to pursue research and gain more clinical experience prior to applying to medical school. I also hope to travel with my family, and visit my parents’ homeland in Montenegro/Albania!

Anything else you would like to share?

 I am so grateful for my experiences with the Biological Sciences major. The Biological Sciences department has always been so helpful and passionate about seeing students succeed. I’ve been offered so much advice and assistance by the advisors and I am very thankful for all of it. Now that I am nearing graduation, I can confidently say I feel far more knowledgeable in the sciences and I am excited to see what the future holds for me.

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