Class of 2010: Chelsea Lane, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

<p>Chelsea Lane. Photo by Frank Dahlmeyer</p>

Chelsea Lane. Photo by Frank Dahlmeyer

Chelsea Lane says her favorite memory from her time at UConn is the first day she arrived as a freshman. She was excited to explore all the opportunities the University had to offer, meet new people, and start a new chapter in her life. In May, Lane will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in pathobiology.

Lane says she was prepared for the start of her college career in part because of the help she received through the pre-college enrichment program provided by Student Support Services (SSS), a division of the Center for Academic Programs. Student Support Services’ pre-college enrichment program is designed for first-generation college students and students from diverse backgrounds. The program provides tutors, career counselors, and other support to give participants a head start on classes during the summer. In Lane’s case, the program was geared toward students interested in the health professions, and provided coordinated services with the UConn Health Center.

“SSS really helped guide me to what the University’s expectations are,” says Lane, who lives in Windsor Locks. “They stayed with me to check my progress. There was always someone to talk to.”

Since coming to UConn, Lane has taken advantage of the many opportunities offered. She is a sister of Delta Sigma Theta, where she has held leadership positions and participated in community service. Lane is also a Resident Assistant in Hilltop Apartments. Recently, she received a citation from the state Senate for her academic achievements.

In 2007, Lane traveled to South Africa with professors Cynthia Jones and Carl Schlichting of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to study the evolution of leaf shapes and body plans in the pelargonium genus of plants (to which geraniums belong). She was the only freshman selected for the research program, which was funded by the National Science Foundation. While participating in the field research, Lane conducted her own side study on how the plants protected themselves from predators.

“I love to learn and to be challenged,” says Lane. “I’m always exploring new things. I’ll never be bored, that’s for sure.”

With this love of learning and drive to solve mysteries, Lane plans to go to medical school to study pathology or neonatology after a year-long master’s program in pharmacology at Georgetown University next year. She also will be participating in a research training program in pathology at Mass General Hospital in Boston this summer.

Lane’s desire to become a doctor stems from her love of helping people and her involvement in the Collegiate Health Service Corps, a program offered through the UConn Health Center to expose undergraduates to health careers through service learning experiences, in 2008. In that program, Lane and her peers developed programs about health topics such as diabetes, sodium intake, and blood pressure.

“I loved the feeling of giving back, and really connecting with people culturally,” Lane says.

As one chapter of her life ends and the next one begins, Lane has this advice for future UConn students: “Explore every opportunity, try something new, and explore other majors. UConn has so much to offer.”