Honors Alumni Spotlight

  • Alumni Portrait
  • Devin Barzallo
  • School of Arts and Sciences '20
  • Major(s): Biological Sciences and Psychology

Activities: SASHP Peer Mentor, SASHP Tutor, AED, Psi Chi, Research Assistant, Research Fellow, ODASIS

What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?
I came to Rutgers originally because I wanted to be close to home. However, once I decided I wanted to pursue a career in medicine I couldn't have been happier with my decision. There were limitless opportunities for research, volunteering and shadowing in New Brunswick as well as surrounding cities like NYC and Philadelphia. I truly enjoyed many of the Honors courses I took like Walking in the Metropolis and Honors Genetics which gave me more contact with my professors in the small classes.

Why did you choose your major and minor?
I fell in love with my general biology course and was doing research in psychology so I thought I would add that as a major too!

Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live? 
I am currently a medical student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Most days I'm on Zoom, doing research, volunteer work and eating my favorite Trader Joe's meal.

What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated Rutgers?
Starting medical school has been really exciting! In terms of personal accomplishments I have been going to the gym everyday before class which I wish I had done in undergrad!

Was there a class and/or experience at Rutgers that led you to pursuing your current career?
I think General Biology was really the catalyst for me wanting to pursue a career in science. During my third year I received a fellowship to do research in NYC and that was when I fully knew I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. I worked with various physicians in different specialties and loved the passion and drive of my mentors. I found being a physician offered me the ability to treat vulnerable patient populations while also being able to do research and be involved with advocacy.

What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors/Scholars Program? 
Enriching. Challenging. Fun!

How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
What was truly great about Rutgers was how independent it was, and as a student I could really tailor my education to what I wanted. A lot of the material I am learning in medical school, I learned in my upper-level science courses at Rutgers which makes it a lot more manageable now. In addition the small recitation classes really prepared me for the small group learning I am doing now!

What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
Take classes outside of your major! Some of the best courses I took were in cognitive science, linguistics, religion and philosophy. In addition reach out for help if you ever need it - all the Honors dean's are super approachable and know how to help you succeed.

For more information about this Honors alumni, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/devin-barzallo-5ba703158/

Are you a Rutgers Honors alum? Be featured in an upcoming Honors Alumni Spotlight by completing our online submission form.

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