Carving New Pathways for Herself and Others

Jocelyn's Suffolk Story

“I am eager to be a mentor and distribute the opportunities Suffolk has provided me to many other students.”
Jocelyn De Paz Biology Major, Class of 2022
Jocelyn's Suffolk Story

My journey at Suffolk has been full of beautiful memories and surprises since the day I stepped foot in Sargent Hall for the 2018 Admitted Student Showcase. I was a young Latina with a head full of dreams and aspirations, and everyone at Suffolk was eager to listen and assist me on my path to success. Being part of our Ramily has provided me a support system of individuals and mentors I know I can always rely on, no matter what. Suffolk has given me the opportunity to bring my uniqueness into my education and curate an authentic pathway fit for me.

As a biology student, my journey was unique: I was able to merge my interest in science with my passion for women’s health. I completed my research in collaboration with the University of Antwerp in Belgium and worked on the female microbiome. I even got to work under the Isala project that is working toward destigmatizing the conversation around vaginal health. This project aligned perfectly with my women’s and gender studies minor and my drive to make an impact on the women’s health field. I have both the scientific training and the confidence to lead and make change. I even had the opportunity to be the social media manager for
Science on the Street, a new scientific satire YouTube show created by one of our very own professors and filmed at our Studio 73.

My leadership experience was strongly enhanced after being part of the Global Gateway Program and then becoming a Trustee Ambassador. When I went on my trip to Spain, I had the opportunity to connect with many Suffolk administrators and other Suffolk students. One of the administrators realized I was also a Samia Scholar and recommended me to be a speaker at the naming ceremony of our Samia Academic Center. After my speech, the undergraduate admission office scouted me to become a Trustee Ambassador. I am still in shock at how it was all a domino effect, but I am forever grateful. As a Trustee Ambassador, I got to connect with prospective students, and it always warmed my heart when I saw them on campus as Suffolk Rams.

Throughout my journey, I had the amazing opportunity to grow my support network even more by participating in the McNair Scholars Program, in which I connected with other first-generation and underrepresented students at Suffolk. We completed summer research programs together along with preparing our graduate school applications. If it were not for them, I would have struggled a lot, but as a group we made the application process fun and enjoyable. We even had the opportunity to present our research at the University of Washington in Seattle and connect with other McNair Scholars.

Even though there was a time in my journey when I was taking courses from my computer in my childhood home, the Suffolk community was always there. Whether I was on a Zoom call with my classmates trying to understand organic chemistry or with my professors just to talk about life for an hour, someone was always there just to make my days a bit more comforting.

I always like to say Suffolk is a hidden gem in the city We not only build our own community, but we expand our networks out into Boston and around the world. It was an honor to spend these past four years at Suffolk, and I will forever be grateful for all the mentors I obtained and the memories I created.  I now move on knowing that I am creating a pathway for my Suffolk mentees—or as I like to call them, my STEM children. Along with also creating a pathway for other young BIPOC scientists, I am eager to be a mentor and distribute the opportunities Suffolk has provided me to many other students.

I thank my family, my friends, the Biology Department faculty, and the A Team for assisting me to develop into a confident young Latina scientist.

Suffolk student Jocelyn poses for a portrait.

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