With another successful Commencement behind us, High Point University graduates are commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the Class of 2020:
Name: Isabella Grifasi
Hometown: Churchville, Maryland
Post-graduation plans: Grifasi is attending Frostburg State University to pursue a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies.
How HPU helped you get there: “I owe a huge thank you to HPU for giving me the opportunity to meet and connect with such great faculty members and peers that have helped me grow into the person I am today. At HPU, I was challenged daily to become a better version of myself, to always find the positives through the negatives, and to ‘keep on keeping on’ throughout academia and life in general. These life skills were pivotal in helping me pursue my dream of becoming a physician assistant.”
How you worked with the Office of Career and Professional Development: “As soon as I landed my first PA school interview, I immediately scheduled an appointment with Dr. Doug Hall in the Office of Career and Professional Development to have a mock interview. I remember emailing him an exhaustive list of 100+ common PA school interview questions. Evidently, we only went through three questions. Instead of doing a mock interview, Dr. Hall realized what I truly needed was a pep talk, and he definitely served as an amazing hype man to help me gain my confidence and to calm my nerves during an actual PA school interview. Rather than focusing on answering questions perfectly, I instead focused on how I wanted to portray my true, genuine self during an interview. With his help, I comfortably rocked my PA school interviews.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “I am forever grateful for Dr. Marshall, who worked in the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy at HPU. I worked with Dr. Marshall for three years, 10 hours a week, as one of his undergraduate research assistants. In the Marshall Lab, I was given so many opportunities to learn beyond the classroom, to partake in complex laboratory protocols, to participate in multiple research conferences, and to assist in writing published articles. Dr. Marshall was always reliable for academic, research and career advice. One of the greatest things I learned from him was to never forget your ‘why’ for pursuing what you’re passionate about. There will be times when pursuing your end goal will be stressful and difficult, however, you should always stay motivated by your ‘why.'”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “The most impactful moment I had at HPU was deciding to join the brotherhood of Alpha Phi Omega, a national Co-Ed service fraternity. I have made the best of friends by surrounding myself with such amazing people who love service as much as I do. APO granted me the opportunity along with nine other APO brothers to serve on a medical mission trip to Ghana, Africa. This was definitely the highlight of my time at HPU. The mission trip confirmed for me my passion for medicine, my love for meaningful service, and my desire to help address and decrease chronic healthcare shortages in the U.S. and abroad. I am forever bonded to the nine APO brothers that went on this medical mission with me.”