News

28 June 2019

Recent Graduate Now Mentoring Other Science Students

Photo of Hafsah Zorqane, alumna, and current students Katherine Soucia and Eric Quinn in biology lab

Hafsah Zorqane ’1, center, with Katherine Soucia, Biotechnology major, and Eric Quinn, Science major with a Biology concentration, in the Biotechnology Laboratory and Research Facility.

Hafsah Zorqane graduated in May with her degree in Science with a concentration in Biology and she’s back on campus this summer mentoring students just starting out in the Sciences at the College.

When she first started taking classes in Spring 2017, Hafsah joined the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). She credits the program, run by Dr. Lorena Harris, CSTEP Director, with helping her to “build her web.” “The people I’m in school with now and people who have come to speak to us during CSTEP events are people I’ll work with later in life,” Hafsah said. “I can look to them when I need help with something and ask them their advice. Dr. Harris has had people meet with us who already graduated from graduate school, who are in nanotech, medicine, biochemistry, and engineering. It’s been terrific to build our web, build our network.”

This summer, Hafsah is mentoring Science students who will be new to campus this fall or in their second semester. “When I first started in CSTEP, professors and other students helped me, so I’m showing them how to do research, write a paper and report, and sharing techniques they’ll need to know in lab or in the field,” she explained.

During her two years at SUNY Schenectady, Hafsah was in a group whose research focused on indigenous microorganisms in Schenectady’s Vale Park. She is in the process of finishing her project and she has submitted her research to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

This fall, Hafsah, who works full time as a Cardiac Monitor Technician at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, will begin her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. Then it’s off to medical school for her M.D. in Anesthesiology.

Hafsah’s passion for science shines through when she describes what it means to her. “Science is creating knowledge to better our community through research, hard work, and above all, devotion,” she said. “Science means giving back. Everything a scientist does is to help someone whether it’s curing a disease or being the lab figuring out what’s going on in the woods next to your kid’s park.”

CSTEP is a New York State Education Department Funded program.
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