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Marimo Oka

Major: Biochemistry and molecular biology

Clark Days: When she started at Clark, Marimo considered majoring in philosophy. In her native Japan, where the high school curriculum is less flexible, she had been on the non-science track. Marimo credits Clark’s Program of Liberal Studies with allowing her the freedom to explore a wide range of courses — including science — and unlock interests and skills she didn’t even know she had. She volunteered for four years with ClarkU Rapid Response and worked in the research lab of Donald Spratt, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. After graduating with a B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology, with a concentration in health, science, and society, she interned in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone Health in Brooklyn, N.Y., under the Emergency Medicine Project Healthcare Summer Volunteer Program. She then pursued an M.S. through Clark’s Accelerated Degree Program, continuing as captain and libero on the volleyball team.

Post-Commencement Plans: Marimo already has a job lined up — research technician in the Crompton Lab in pediatric oncology lab at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorder Center. Her long-term goal is to attend medical school.

Observation: “One of the perks of being at a small school like Clark is that I was in the research lab so early in my time here. That taught me how to be independent, to be creative, and to be a problem solver.”