Meet Successful Biology Students

portrait1_000Samantha J. Calero- An aspiring plant biologist, winner of the 2022 Basile Lectures Award, and winner of the 2022 Kane Prize Award for the highest GPA in the major.

Message from Samantha: “I am grateful for my science education and the countless opportunities I have had throughout my undergraduate career at Lehman. My goal is to apply my skills and knowledge for the betterment of my community and the world by making important plant foods like wheat less contaminated and more nutritious."

Olivia-Asher.Olivia A. Asher - An aspiring lichenologist, winner of the 2020 Con Edison STEM Award, winner of the 2021 Basile Lectures Award, and winner of the 2021 Kane Prize Award for the highest GPA in the major.

Message from Olivia: “I am grateful for the fantastic education I received at Lehman College. I'm looking forward to continuing to do research on fungi through the Integrated Plant Sciences PhD program at the University of Georgia with support from the Department of Energy's Computational Science Graduate Fellowship."

Veneta-CallpaniVeneta Callpani  - An aspiring cognitive neuroscientist, winner of the 2021 Kane Prize for the highest GPA in the major, and a member of
Sigma Xi.

Message from Veneta: “Studying biology and brain sciences changed me in the best way I could ever imagine. Now that I've changed myself and learned how to be the best self-possible, I want to help other people do the same. Through neuroscience I want to help people improve their life, skills, and find new ways to treat mental and neurological disorders.”

Abdulhaq-SyedAbdulhaq Syed  - An aspiring physician, a double major in biology and psychology, and winner of the 2021 Biology Department’s Academic Excellence Award.

Message from Abdulhaq: “I intend to take all the tools, knowledge, and experiences that I’ve acquired at Lehman on my journey into medical school. With my biology and psychology background, I hope to better understand my patients and their decision-making processes, help underserved minority individuals lead healthy lives, and be a role model for children within these communities.”

Zipporah-GillesZipporah Gilles – an aspiring physician and winner of the 2020 Kane Prize for the highest GPA in the major Message from Zipporah: “My plan after graduation is to continue striving and reaching towards my goal of becoming a pediatrician. I will be studying for the MCAT, with the plan of taking it in January 2020. In addition, I will be volunteering at Mount Sinai Ruttenberg Treatment Center and continuing my research with Professor Bamshad.”

Maria-Alejandra-FelizMaria Alejandra Feliz - an aspiring biomedical scientist and a Ph.D. student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Message from Maria: “At the 2019 annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in California, I presented my research and was awarded for outstanding poster presentation in the Developmental Biology and Genetics discipline.”

The Biology Department has a number of clubs supervised by faculty that students are welcome to join:

  • Biology Club - meet peers, become part of a community of learners, engage in biology-related activities, and learn to lead.
  • Minority Association of Pre-Health Students - meet peers committed to supporting pre-health students in achieving their goals.   
  • Tri-Beta Honor Society - meet peers interested in biological research and learn to lead.
  • Predental Club - meet peers interested in dentistry. 
  • Prenursing Club - meet peers interested in nursing. 

Student could also join the Lehman College Biology Majors Organization on Blackboard to find the most updated information on internships, scholarships, career events, and seminars designed for biology majors.

The faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences is committed to providing the diverse undergraduate student body a rigorous and nurturing academic environment for their successful graduation. The courses offered by the department will provide students with the most current information in modern Biology. In addition, the department offers programs to support students in getting hands-on research experience. To ensure academic success, the faculty encourages students to follow these guidelines:

  • Find out what the Biology Department has to offer Familiarize yourself with the Biology program by visiting the departmental website where you will find information about the faculty and their research projects, course offerings, and our research facilities.
  • Find out if there are any prerequisites for the courses you want to take - Most courses offered in the Biology Department have prerequisites and additional requirements. Some courses will not count towards the biology major. Before you register for a course, make sure you know the requirements.  If you are uncertain, consult the major adviser.
  • Prepare for class before it begins - Find out who will be your instructor.  Get the course syllabus from your instructor before you go to class.  Some instructors offer their course information online, either through their own website or on Blackboard.  Buy the books required for the course and review the contents before going to class.
  • Improve your study skills and learn to manage your time effectively - information is available at online sites such as How to Deal with Academic Challenges and Education Atlas to help you change your study habits.
  • Talk to other students – your classmates, senior undergraduates, and graduate students will share their experience in college with you if you ask them. You can learn from their mistakes or successes. You can become better acquainted with other students by participating in honor society organizations at such as Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa or doing research under the supervision of a faculty member.

A successful academic journey through Lehman College requires that you make several stops to receive information and advice.

Academic Advisement Office – visit the academic adviser to plan your academic career at Lehman College, and to prepare your application for professional or graduate school. 

Admissions - visit the admissions office for transfer evaluations and for being admitted to Lehman College.

Office of Financial Aid – visit the financial aid counselor to find out about opportunities and guidelines for receiving and maintaining financial aid.

Office of Registrar – visit the Registrar’s office to receive information about courses and your academic record.

Career Services  – visit to learn how to integrate career development, employment opportunities, technology, and internships with your studies at Lehman College.

Academic Center for Excellence and Tutoring – visit to receive support and tutoring for your courses. 

This is a guide to help biology students who are undecided about their career or who do not know the career paths that are available to them.

  • Investigate available careers – at the end of this document, you will see a list of jobs available to someone with a biology degree. This list represents some, but not all available jobs. Use it to get an idea of the possibilities.  If you don’t find what interests you, get more information through the Lehman College Career Services or search the Web for additional options.
  • Know the qualifications that employers expect you to have – employers are not only looking for good academic records, but also for skills and personal characteristics that set you apart from other applicants. You will qualify for a range of jobs in biology or biology-related fields, if you have incorporated some general skills through your college education. For example, most employers expect a biology graduate to be able to write and speak well in English, have computer skills, think critically, be able to solve problems, be able to follow and implement a protocol, work well with others as well as independently, and have good work ethics.
  • Get research experience – most employers of biology majors expect you to have research experience. You can gain many of the skills mentioned in the previous paragraph through doing research. Getting involved in research is the most effective way to get hands-on experience of the materials you learned in classroom. Talk to science faculty with whom you are taking courses to find out if you qualify for doing research under their supervision.
  • Evaluate your skills and prepare yourself – before applying for a job, examine your academic records and evaluate your skills to see if you qualify for the job. You should prepare a superb resume and cover letter to highlight your academic records and skills. Your resume and cover letter should make it clear to the employer as to why you are the most suitable person for the job. Finally, prepare yourself for the job interview.
  • If you are a biology major, consider completing a minor – a minor that trains you in thinking skills or technical skills can enhance your knowledge in biology and improve your chances of finding a career of your choice.

With a bachelor’s degree in biology, you can get a job in the technician category. If you want to work in a supervisory position, you should apply for graduate school to get a masters or doctoral degree. If you want to become a physician or find other health-related occupations, you should attend a professional school for further training.  The table shows a list of careers in alphabetical order. Contact the Career Services to see what the qualifications are for each occupation.

Bio-Administrator Animal Scientist
Biochemist Bio-Engineer
Biometrician Biotechnologist
Botanist Brewery Laboratory Assistant
Chief of Clinical Perfusion Chiropractor
Professor Dentist
Director of Human Resources Ecologist
Education Consultant Environmental Engineer
Environmental Health Specialist Environmental Journalist
Environmental Protection Worker Fish Hatchery Technician
Fisheries Conservationist Food Scientist Technologist
Forester Fundraiser/Grant Writer
Genetic Engineering Researcher Hospital Administrator
Marine Biologist Market Research Analyst
Medical/Science Illustrator or Writer Medical Librarian
Medical Technologist Microbiologist
Molecular Biologist Neurobiologist
Ophthalmologist Optometrist
Personal Fitness Trainer Pet Therapist
Pharmaceutical Salesperson Pharmacy Technician
Physical Therapist Physician
Physician Assistant Radiation Technologist
Research Scientist Science Laboratory Technician
Science Teacher Scientific Equipment Manufacturer
Soil Conservationist State Parks and Recreation
Test and Inspection Technician Veterinarian
Wildlife Biologist Wildlife Resources Worker
Zoologist Zoos/Museums/Aquarium Administrator


Although some students come to college knowing exactly what major to choose and what career path to follow, many students are uncertain. Choosing a major and a career can be confusing and stressful. This document will guide you in narrowing your focus on a few possible majors and ultimately choosing one as your major. Some students decide to do double majors or a major and a minor.  Bear in mind that choosing a major is not a final commitment; students sometimes change their major while in college.

  • Asses your interests and ambitions – What excites you? What are your career goals? What kind of job do you wish to find?  If you don’t know the answer to these questions, take a self-test available at the Lehman College Career Services to help you answer these questions.
  • Consider your abilities – What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What can you do that sets you apart from others? One way to find out is to look at your high school or college transcript. Think of your best subject and your worst subject. Also, think of skills you have that may help you find a career.
  • Examine your values – What do you value in your work? For example, do you want to help others? Do you want to earn lots of money? Can you work under pressure? Do you like to work alone or in a group?  Are you looking for stability, security, or status?
  • Investigate careers – What careers are available for the major of your choice? What is the occupational outlook for a particular major? You can search for answers by going to the Career Services, or by searching the Web.
  • Evaluate all your options – What are your goals and ambitions? What are your dreams? What does it take to achieve your goals? How motivated are you and how hard are you willing to work to see your dreams come true? Do you have any personal, family, or financial constraints that may prevent you from doing your best? Try to be honest with yourself when answering these questions. Remember that once you know the realities, you can overcome most obstacles if you are motivated and determined to succeed.
  • Take advantage of many resources available to you – read the Lehman College catalog to learn about programs and opportunities provided by the college. Talk to your professors and academic adviser to get information including, how you can qualify for a particular career and how to get internships. Talk to classmates in their final years of college to see how they have prepared themselves for careers. Seniors can be a great source for figuring out what things to do and not to do while in college. Finally, use the Career Services to get information on choosing a major and a career, as well as finding internships and jobs.
  • Know the requirements for a major – once you have identified the majors that interest you, find out the requirements for each one. See if you can meet those requirements within the time frame that you have set for yourself to complete your degree. Talk to the academic adviser of the department that offers the major of your choice to get more information.