Honors Alumni Spotlight

  • Alumni Portrait
  • Meg Tsai
  • School of Arts and Sciences '18
  • Major(s): Biological Sciences and Psychology
  • Minor(s): Health & Society

Activities:  Women's Ice Hockey, Raskin Lab, The Conversation Tree (Rutgers GSE), The Anthologist

What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?
Because I grew up in a small town and went to a small high school, I only wanted to attend huge schools with massive student bodies--and you can't get much bigger than Rutgers University. Becoming part of the SASHP was an added bonus, as it offered me a smaller, more close-knit community within the expanse of Rutgers, as well as additional opportunities and mentorship outside of what was already available to me as a Rutgers student.

Why did you choose your major and minor?
I have always loved and wanted to study biology, which is also what led me to participating in plant microbiology/functional foods research. Because of a core curriculum requirement, I participated in a psychology research study, which of course led me to taking Psych 101, during which I developed an interest in the biological bases of behavior and decided to double-major. I ended up completing my minor in health & society because I became interested in the role of psychosocial factors in physical and mental health.

Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live? What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live?
After graduating from Rutgers, I took a gap year, during which I volunteered and worked in various physical therapy settings. I completed the physical therapy program at Rutgers SHP, during which I completed clinical rotations in the Navajo Nation and at a private school serving children with visual (and other) impairments. I am currently a resident in orthopedic physical therapy at Columbia University. Ideally, after obtaining my orthopedics specialty certification, I will be pursuing a career in pediatric orthopedics.

What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated from Rutgers?
Besides entering a residency program, I am very proud to have continued pursuing my passion for research despite my objectively clinical and largely client-facing choice of profession. My team at Raskin Lab published a paper shortly after I graduated, and I have continued to present physical therapy research on a variety of topics at national conferences. I am also very lucky to be able to pursue art as a side business--I do custom embroidery and paintings; mostly wedding invitations and the occasional tattoo design.

Was there a class and/or experience at Rutgers that led you to pursuing your current career?
I discovered my interest in physical therapy towards the latter half of my senior year, so I ended up needing to take a bunch of prerequisite courses in order to apply to PT school. I credit Functional Human Anatomy and Adam DiVine for giving me a great foundation of knowledge and for solidifying my career choice.

What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors/Scholars Program? 
Engaging. Expansive. Entertaining.

How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
I have made lifelong friends and had the chance to explore a variety of subject fields as well as discover how they intertwine (I think this is well-reflected by my choices of majors and minor). I have many interests and I am glad that I felt like I could continue pursuing everything I wanted.

What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
I think about balance a lot; about making time for what makes you happy. All work and no play (or vice versa) is a very hard life to live.

For more information about this Honors alum, visit: 
https://madebymxg.square.site/

Are you a Rutgers Honors alum? Be featured in an upcoming Honors Alumni Spotlight by completing our online submission form.

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