The Power of Possibility

Johnni Medina
April 3, 2024
Pace Student Kaylin Smith wears a white coat and smiles

Kaylin Smith ’26 understands the value of keeping her options open.

When she applied to Pace, she knew she had an interest in science and health, but she wasn’t exactly sure which field she wanted to get into and didn’t want to limit herself to a specific field like nursing or chemistry.

Cue Pace’s BS in Health Sciences, the perfect major for someone like Kaylin, offering her the flexibility and breadth to discover and pursue her own unique path in the health field as her interests evolve.

The health sciences major has three distinct tracks for students to pursue—Generalist, Pre-Nursing, and Pre-Physician Assistant. “I chose the physician assistant (PA) track which will allow me to go into PA school, medical school, health administration, or something else,” Kaylin says. “It gives me more options.”

I feel safe in my future, and I feel like it will be very easy for me hit the ground running when I graduate.

The PA track, according to Kaylin, is the most science-heavy of the three tracks, with classes ranging from biology, chemistry, microbiology, anatomy, and more. The major also offers concentrations within those tracks for even more academic versatility. “I’m doing the global health concentration,” she says. “It’s all about epidemiology, with topics on prevention and intervention at a larger level.”

Kaylin chose Pace in part because she knew about the University’s focus on preparing students with real-world career experience—experience she is already getting as a student worker on Pace’s NYC Campus.

When she started working with Pace’s University Relation’s design team, she initially provided administrative support, but she’s now started doing actual design work. “It’s been fun,” she says. “Graphic design wasn’t something I’d ever done before, but the team was really helpful. It’s actually kind of opened up a whole new interest in me, and it’s something I could pursue now.” She adds, “If I were to end up doing graphic design full-time, I wouldn’t be mad.”

So, while her classes allow Kaylin to explore her passion for science and health across a broad scope of disciplines, her time as a student worker has given her the chance to practice in a completely different sector.

I know everyone says this, but your experience in college is really whatever you make it.

And doors keep opening for her to dive even deeper. “This summer, I'm going to be a volunteer camp counselor with Camp AmeriKids in upstate New York, at a summer camp for kids living with HIV/AIDS,” she says, an opportunity she found through her involvement with the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS) at Pace.

So far at Pace, Kaylin has expanded her interest in healthcare while keeping her future options open, gained valuable graphic design experience as a student worker, and secured an opportunity to get real-world experience over the summer. According to her, this is what Pace does. “Pace is very good at putting their students out there,” she says. “I feel safe in my future, and I feel like it will be very easy for me hit the ground running when I graduate.”

Her view of the future includes plans for PA school where she hopes to study orthopedics, but she’s also keeping the option open to continue on all the way to med school. “I don’t know, we’ll see,” she says.

As Kaylin’s second year at Pace comes to a close, her advice to incoming students is simple. “I know everyone says this, but your experience in college is really whatever you make it,” she says. “The best way to enjoy Pace is to take it day by day and to be grateful you’re here.”

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Students from the Pforzheimer Honors College will present their original research, creative work, honor theses, and innovative tech projects to the Pace Community. New York City: Monday, May 6 and Tuesday, May 7; Pleasantville: Friday, May 10.