Small Connections Make a Big Difference in W&J Junior’s College Experience

Created: April 9, 2020
Last Updated: April 9, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (April 9, 2020)—Building connections is no small thing.

Even in this modern era with a host of technological advances, nothing beats the advantages of the personal relationships you build through your various networks, and that is especially true at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J). Just ask Noah Hoffman ’21.

Noah, a biology and Spanish double-major on the pre-health track, has discovered a host of opportunities during his time at W&J. Last summer, he found practical experience through an internship at PA Pain Diagnostics and Interventional Care in Sewickley, Pa., that built upon his academic knowledge from W&J. He’s also had his work acknowledged on a large scale, submitting an abstract to the ASRA National Pain Conference following a presentation of his research at the Pre-Health Medical lecture on campus.

How did Noah find these opportunities?

“It definitely started through a lot of the professors on campus,” Noah shared. “One of the professors I had for class during my freshmen year [Dr. Jason Kilgore] reached out to me because I did well in his bio-statistics class. I learned more about the internship and then spent the summer doing research.”

With Dr. Kilgore’s support, Noah was able to connect with the office in Sewickley. W&J provided preparation for the work he completed through opportunities to do independent research, work in a lab, and an emphasis on reading and interpreting scientific literature. Group discussions in class helped provide a deeper understanding of the material while solidifying Noah’s relationship with his professors and his peers.

But Noah’s connections don’t stop in the academic and professional fields. The W&J junior is also heavily involved outside of the classroom, and spends much of his time in service to others as a W&J Admission Ambassador, resident assistant, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters volunteer. These opportunities have helped Noah, a self-professed introvert, develop into a more confident version of himself.

“Being connected and being a resource for others has helped me develop as a person and guided me to my future,” he said, noting his ambition to complete medical school and become a personal care physician. “I feel like because it’s a close community, W&J has helped me to branch out in all sorts of ways. I’m not put in a corner or being boxed in; I’m able to float around and see what different areas have to offer. That’s been extremely helpful for me.”

That small community plays no small role in making Noah’s education a personal one where he knows his school values him and wants to see him reach his goals.

“I would say my favorite thing about W&J is that I’m not just a statistic. I’m not just a student in the back of a 500-person lecture hall; I’m an individual. And the great thing is, I don’t have to try really hard to make myself stand out in that way because so many faculty and staff members are making sure students here are able to express themselves,” Noah said.

“When I am looking for a certain opportunity or one comes to me without me asking, it’s because I have all these different people who are involved in wanting me to be successful,” he added.

About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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