Gaining an Edge – Destiny McDuffie

As a Meredith College scholar in the GlaxoSmithKline Women in Science program, Destiny McDuffie, ’16, gained valuable research and professional experience that gave her an edge when it came time to apply to grad school.

In particular, Destiny participated last summer in the Biophysical Society’s Summer Research Program, which consisted of advanced courses, student enrichment seminars, and 12 weeks of independent research in biophysics at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

“It was an amazing opportunity to gain graduate-level research experience that would set me apart from other professional school applicants. I was also able to use this research to complete my senior honors thesis.”

A biology and chemistry major with a minor in chemical physics, Destiny will attend the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn., in fall 2016. After she completes her education and residency, she plans to pursue a career in optometry in Raleigh.

Destiny says that her experience as a departmental tutor and teaching assistant also played a key role in her success. She has served as a tutor through Meredith’s Learning Center, and she works in the chemistry department as a laboratory assistant.

“These close interactions with instructors have allowed them to get to know me better and recommend me for excellent opportunities. I have been told by many graduate programs that the recommendations from my professors made me stand out from the other candidates.”

Destiny is actively involved in campus life, holding leadership positions in several organizations. She serves as president of the Meredith College chapter of the American Chemical Society and vice president of both Kappa Nu Sigma and Beta Beta Beta honor societies. She also is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and Meredith Health Professions Society. On top of all that, Destiny was a student advisor for the 2014-15 academic year and an orientation crew member in spring 2015.

“These experiences have allowed me to participate in great volunteer opportunities on campus and in the local community. The leadership roles also improved my critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Being in charge of organization events and coming up with innovative ideas improved my teamwork and time management skills. And being able to serve as a leader and role model for others truly had an impact on me.”

Above all, Destiny says, the relationships she forged during her time at Meredith are most significant.

“Though there are many experiences that will have a lasting impact on me, the best part of my Meredith experience has been the connections I have made with the faculty, staff, and other students at Meredith. I know that I have lifelong friends and mentors who will always be there for me.”