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Student Story

Zenovia Gonzalez ’24, B.S., Biology

A biology major with a minor in music, Zenovia Gonzalez is a co-valedictorian of the Class of 2024 at St. Francis College. She will be heading to medical school this summer, putting her one step closer to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor specializing in emergency medicine.

Why did you choose to enroll at St. Francis College?
My sister, who attended SFC, always spoke highly of the College, praising its inclusive environment, the warmth of its staff and faculty, and the academic rigor. After visiting the school myself, I realized it would be the perfect place for me to not only thrive academically but also grow professionally. I knew there would be many opportunities for me to get involved and get closer to achieving my goals.

What prompted you to major in biology?
Since the age of 14, I’ve volunteered at my local nursing home, where my interactions with patients sparked my interest to want to work in the healthcare field. Through other experiences in hospital and medical settings, I knew for certain I wanted to be a doctor. This passion for helping others has been complemented by my love for science and continuous learning.

What extracurricular activities were you involved in at SFC?­­
I have held leadership roles as president of the Pre-Medical and Health Promotions Club and the College’s chapter of the TriBeta Biological Honor Society, while also serving as secretary of the Environmental Club. Additionally, I was involved in the Honors program, C-STEP and Peer Leadership and was a STEM peer ambassador, student researcher and organic-chemistry tutor.

Is there a professor or person at SFC who has impacted you in a meaningful way — whether academically or on a personal level?
This is probably the toughest question, because every individual I've crossed paths with at St. Francis College has played a significant role in shaping my journey. However, if I had to choose just one, it would be Allen Burdowski. From the moment I began my college journey until now, he has provided unwavering support and guidance that has been instrumental in my growth and success. Along with Dr. Burdowski, I am grateful to all the science professors; they have strengthened my love for science and molded me into the person I am today.

What’s next for you?
I will be starting medical school at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University this summer. This is a huge milestone for me, as I will be one step closer to achieving my dream of becoming a doctor.

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