Internships, Graduate School, and Volunteering: Brandon Roy
After coming to Lebanon Valley College in fall 2016, Brandon Roy ’20 found his passion not only in his academics but also through participating in more than 100 hours of volunteer work.
Throughout his four years at LVC, Roy dedicated his time to his studies and helping others through multiple volunteer projects. He primarily worked with the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA), based out of Lebanon, where he packed and sorted medical supplies, assembled furniture such as cribs, and did some heavy lifting loading supplies for their transport to Africa.
“My time with AFCA gave me much more back than what I put into it,” Roy said. “When you volunteer, there is this sensation that only the action itself can reveal, and I felt it every time. The amount of supplies that the organization gets to Africa is amazing and I was so happy to have just a small part in volunteering there.”
The summer before his senior year, Roy attended Cornell University where he interned with Cornell AgriTech. He focused on plant pathology, which is the study of diseases in plants caused by pathogens and environmental conditions. During this internship, Roy experienced the extension work the college was doing with elementary schools to teach students about the department.
“At Cornell, I only witnessed others doing extension work, but I knew that I wanted to try it,” Roy said. “After reaching out to professors in the LVC Science Department, Tri-Beta [LVC’s honor society for biology] organized our first Annville School District 6th Grade STEM field trip. This experience was able to tie together my past internship and volunteer experience into one bundle.”
Along with his volunteer work with AFCA and on campus, Roy also participated in an Outreach360 program teaching English in the Dominican Republic during spring break in 2019, and he served meals at the Breaking Bread Food Pantry in Harrisburg.
Roy still managed to find time to be involved in multiple activities on campus despite his dedication to his coursework and volunteering. He also participated as a First-Year Mentor, president of Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society, member of the Organ Guild, and chapter delegate for Gamma Sigma Epsilon [national honor society for chemistry].
“Volunteering while in school helped me understand others,” Roy said. “I met so many people from other walks of life and it allowed me to understand my place in the world.”
Roy, who received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry & molecular biology, will attend graduate school at Cornell University for his Ph.D., and aspires to one day teach in a college setting. Before starting at Cornell, Roy is serving as a remote intern teaching STEM material to children in Nicaragua for Outreach 360, the organization through which LVC students served in the Dominican Republic in March 2019.
--- Megan Finlan, for ENG 430 Feature Writing