Spotlight Archive

Alumni Portrait
Karen Biala
School of Arts and Sciences '11
Major(s): Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Public Health
Minor(s): Spanish

Activities: Douglass Student Recruitment Network; Residence Hall Association; Rutgers Performing Dance Company; Douglass Campus Center Information Desk Clerk; Douglass Externship Program; New Student Orientation; Douglass Orientation; Study Abroad Program in Salamanca, Spain; Red Pine Ambassador; Cook/Douglass Learning Resource Center Tutor; PACT for Autism Training Coordinator; Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Neuroscience; Public Leadership Education Network; and School of Arts and Sciences Honors Peer Mentor Program

What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?
The plethora of opportunities that I could take advantage of as a student.

Why did you choose your major and minor?
I chose disciplines that I am passionate about and ones that would prepare me for my career.

Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where do you live? 
I currently live in Virginia and began working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service as a Presidential Management Fellow after completing my master's degree. My current position is my first full-time job after graduating from Rutgers (I stayed on at my office following the completion of my fellowship).

What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated Rutgers?
As a Presidential Management Fellow, I had the opportunity to complete a developmental assignment at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Secretary. In that capacity, I co-authored two articles, one focused on the use of metrics for healthcare and the other on healthcare coalitions.

Was there a class and/or experience at Rutgers that led you to pursuing your current career?
The enlightening internship and coursework I completed for my public health major led me to pursue a master's degree in Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors/Scholars Program? 
Invigorating. Empowering. Rewarding.

How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
Rutgers provided me with exposure that has added depth and dimension to my understanding of life outside of the university. I've crossed paths with many alumni in my personal and professional life and have always benefitted from the connections I made both during my college experience and following it.

What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
Plan your future as much as you can, but also let the pieces come together on their own. Be open to change, and embrace diversity.

For more information about this Honors alum, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenbiala

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