Second-year honors biochemistry and molecular biology student Maya Livni (at left above) hasn’t let the pandemic stop her from doing what she loves most: learning, connecting with peers and volunteering in her community.
Maya, originally from Ashland, Oregon, came to Oregon State University for its strong science programs. She knew she would need a solid science foundation as well as research opportunities to pursue her dream of attending medical school.
Though Maya’s in-person college experience was interrupted by COVID-19, she has remained positive and continued her favorite activities. Aside from her studies, Maya serves as the vice president of the Honors College Student Association (HCSA) and the outreach chair for the Biochemistry Club.
Despite now being VP of HCSA, Maya started out as the club’s community service co-chair. While serving in that position, she and a peer were able to conduct a food drive that raised enough funds to provide over 6,000 meals for people in the community.
“The Honors College is a community of people who want to get involved and want to meet each other, and everybody in the club is really cool,” Maya says of her experience with HCSA. “I think it definitely brought me closer to a lot of Honors College people.”
Maya also volunteers in her free time with the Multiple Sclerosis Exercise Program, a service of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences that provides a high quality, individualized exercise program for people with multiple sclerosis. In fact, Maya says that her and one of her friends are perhaps the only people to continue participating remotely with the program through the pandemic.
“The extracurriculars are really what excite me and keep me going,” Maya says.
Although Maya wishes she were back on-campus, she has still enjoyed classes online, and she is particularly satisfied with those offered by the HC. Her favorite honors class that she has taken so far was Global Public Health, and she has also enjoyed an honors version of Biomedical Ethics and the honors Principles of Biology series with instructor Nate Kirk.
Maya also works in a lab with Dr. Maude David in the Department of Microbiology. Maya has not yet started her thesis, but she plans to complete the project with Dr. David on a topic related to mice and gut microbiomes.
After graduation, Maya plans to take a gap year to get more work and volunteer experience before going to medical school.
For incoming HC students, Maya advises, “Get involved right away. If you get involved right away, I feel like you’ll definitely build a lot of connections and make a lot of friendships.”