"I know I would not have the kinds of experiences I've had at a larger school. My friends at larger schools get lost in the shuffle; it's hard for them to make connections to faculty the way I have."
Zach Darby began doing research at Seton Hall during his freshman year, studying microplasma bacteria with Professor Jose Lopez, an international expert in plasma physics. It was a unique opportunity to be in the labs so early and to with Professor Lopez, Zach says. "One of my classmates and I were able to present at an international microplasma conference. Nearly every other student there was a graduate student, so we were lucky Seton Hall provided us this opportunity as undergraduates."
Zach was also paired with a Seton Hall mentor, an alumna who is a prominent hand surgeon. "I shadowed her practice for nearly two years, observing more than 75 surgeries. I've gotten to do everything from being in the operating room to monitoring patient recovery to understanding how to chart and monitor patients from beginning to end. The experience helped me learn that as a doctor, I want to treat the whole person, not just the illness."
As a result of working with his mentor, Zach also participated in research on wound care, which was presented at a professional symposium and is pending publication.
Even with the rigorous demands of being a pre-med student majoring in physics, researching and working in clinical settings, Zach still had time to pursue a minor in Asian Studies — by studying abroad in Beijing. "I loved my experience in China. I got to appreciate different perspectives, cultures and languages. I also got to see many amazing places that tourists don't see."
The close mentoring Zach got from faculty made a real difference for him. "The faculty at Seton want to help you succeed." If I e-mail my adviser, Professor Roberta Moldow, with questions, Zach says, I will receive an answer promptly because she is so dedicated to helping her students. "I know I would not have the kinds of experiences I've had at a larger school. My friends at larger schools get lost in the shuffle; it's hard for them to make connections to faculty the way I have."
Zach is not the first in his family to attend Seton Hall. His mother, Dana, studied nursing, and his sister studies athletic training at the University. After he graduates, Zach will attend medical school at Temple University, and he will have done his family's Pirate tradition proud.
Seton Hall Career Highlights
- Study Abroad; Beijing, China
- Member; Physics Club
- Presenter; 8th Annual International Workshop on Microplasmas
- Presenter; Petersheim Academic Conference
- Fraternity brother; Alpha Chi Rho
- Member; Sigma Pi Sigma, physics honor society
- Member; Alpha Epsilon Delta, pre-health profession honors society
- Participant; Relay for Life and Autism walks