Courtney's Story

Courtney Pharr

Major:

Biology with pre-med track

Hometown:

Seattle, Washington

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Navigating her first year

Courtney came to Clark as a Presidential LEEP Scholar, diving into computer science and biology and competing on the volleyball team. She earned Dean’s List First Honors, and Computer Science Professor Natalia Sternberg and LEEP Center Director Michelle Bata gave her valuable guidance.

Coming out of her shell

Initially, Courtney was “relatively reserved,” but says Athletic Director Patricia Cronin “gave me the confidence to come out of my shell and be a leader.”

Sophomore year, LEEP Center Adviser Micki Davis, director of community engagement and volunteering, was Courtney’s adviser for a service-learning trip to the Dominican Republic. “She taught me how to give back in a meaningful way,” Courtney says. She’s also participated in countless community service projects on and off Clark’s Worcester campus.

Academic All-American in volleyball

Academic All-American in volleyball

Inspiring kids in Latin America

Inspiring kids in Latin America

Fellowship at Bellevue Hospital

Fellowship at Bellevue Hospital

Good advice

Professors Deborah Robertson in Biology and Mark Turnbull in Chemistry offered key academic guidance, while Professor John Magee encouraged Courtney to pursue a computer science research internship that sparked her interest in medicine.

A star on the court

While making the Dean’s List and earning other academic honors, Courtney shined as a four-year varsity volleyball player. Coach Mickey Cahoon, she says, “gave me opportunities to shape my entire Clark experience in a positive way.”

Designing Courses

LEEP Center Adviser and Writing Center Director Jennifer Plante helped Courtney design a course to learn about her passion for health care through the lens of literature.

[Professor] David Thurlow gave me information they don’t teach you in textbooks.
[Professor] David Thurlow gave me information they don’t teach you in textbooks.

On to Bellevue

With the help of LEEP Center Director Michelle Bata, Courtney secured a prestigious fellowship at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Courtney’s application to medical school was made smoother by David Thurlow, director of the Medical Careers Advising Program.

To the future

Courtney’s path through Clark and to medical school was aided by Associate Dean for Student Success Phil Robakiewicz, who helped her see the paths she could take after graduation and kept her informed about scholarships available to her for graduate and medical school.