- by Mount Saint Mary College

Two Mount Saint Mary College seniors walked across the Commencement stage and into jobs in the science field.

Jessica Musacchio of Beacon, N.Y, and Nasayah Israel of Newburgh, N.Y., are both looking forward to beginning their exciting new careers. 

Jessica Musacchio standing outside in her graduation gown.

Musacchio, a Pre-Med Biology major with a minor in Psychology, is jumping right into her career with a position at Columbia University. She will be working as a research technician studying Essential Tremor, a nervous system disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking.

By participating in the Mount’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), a paid internship program where undergraduate students engage in scholarly research projects, Musacchio was able to work closely with Mount faculty in the Natural Sciences Division. According to Musacchio, SURE sparked her journey as a researcher: “[In SURE], I was able to gain skills that enabled me to land this new job,” she explained.  

Musacchio said that the Mount’s Natural Sciences faculty played a crucial role in her time at the Mount.

“I was able to work with many of them doing research projects, where I was then able to present [these projects] at many different symposiums – even in different states like Virginia at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute,” she explained. “These symposiums and the awards that I won also helped me get my job at Columbia University.”

One aspect of Mount life that Musacchio will miss is the tight-knit family feel of the college. She noted, “The small community allows for the student to have many opportunities in their field of study.”

Headshot of Nasayah Israel.Israel, another Pre-Med student graduating with a bachelor’s in Biology, will soon begin a position as a medical scribe for a family/internal medicine practice. She chose to study Biology because of her love for the simple, yet complex, processes of the human body.

As she reflects on her time at the Mount, Israel credited the college’s Natural Sciences faculty with helping to mold her into the successful graduate she is today. 

“The Mount's Natural Sciences Division has enhanced my ability to critically think and analyze data as a scientist,” she said. “I am grateful for the research opportunities this program has to offer as well. My public speaking skills and writing has improved tremendously since being part of the Mount's program.”

These are skills Israel will need in her new profession, as well as when she she applies to medical school to become a pediatrician, she explained.

Israel is thankful to have been so involved in many organizations at the Mount, including Tri Beta (the national Biology honor society), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (the national Chemistry honor society), Kappa Mu Epsilon (the national Mathematics honor society), and the Mount’s rigorous Honors program. She was also an intern at the YWCA Cancer Service Program.

As she reflects on her college experience, Israel notes she shares the Mount’s core belief that service matters. 

“The Science Division is very involved in community service,” she said. “I was able to volunteer with some of my professors and assist students at Nora Cronin Academy,” in addition to serving at the Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh and at the Hudson Valley Food Bank.

 Israel is grateful for the relationships she built through these service projects.

 “These experiences have allowed me to gain skills for the betterment of not only myself, but to help those around me,” she said.


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