Q&A with Alice Yi ’22

By Elizabeth Rodgers
Photo by Defining Studios

Alice Yi ’22 is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health sciences with a premedical studies designation at the University of New Haven. She also participates in the Pre-Health Professions Scholars Program and the Honors Program. Yi is a 2019 McHale Fellow, selected as one of three students — of a group of 38 — from the University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program in recognition of her outstanding research work. SURF enables undergraduates to develop a proposal for a research project, conduct it while working closely with a faculty member, and present their findings to the campus community. Yi is currently conducting research in cervical cancer.

Tell us the basics.

I was born and raised in Guam. Growing up on the island was incredible, but it was always my goal to attend college in the Northeast. I love expansive thinking, open-mindedness, and the process of getting a better understanding of the world. I don’t think that’s possible without seeking out new experiences.

What drew you to Connecticut?

I never actually visited the University. The first time I set foot on campus was for orientation. I always wanted to work in the medical field, and the University is unique in that it allows students to conduct independent research in their first year as part of the SURF program. As a rising sophomore, I was in the lab doing what students at most other universities don’t get to do until their junior year.

"I love expansive thinking, open-mindedness, and the process of getting a better understanding of the world. I don’t think that’s possible without seeking out new experiences."Alice Yi ’22

Why medicine?

I learned that it’s not necessarily rare for medical professionals to misdiagnose. A lot of people aren’t willing to admit that they don’t have all the answers. I am attracted to understudied topics where there is still much left to explore. That’s a perspective I’m going to bring to my work as a clinical pathologist.

What value do you want to add to the world through this work?

There’s an increasing number of emerging diseases, but efforts to collect data and apply knowledge aren’t keeping pace. I want to help find treatments for rare conditions. I might pursue an M.D.–Ph.D. because, although I want to be a pathologist, I can’t give up my love of research.

What about when you’re not in the lab?

I’m in the final stage of creating a new student organization on campus. Once approved, I’ll be the founder and president of the University’s first TEDx chapter. I’ve always loved the entrepreneurial and leadership aspect of TED. Ultimately, I want members to produce their own talks on campus. It might be a little ambitious, but I can’t wait.

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