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Black in STEM


Kessin Avertil.

Kessina Vertil


Major and Degree Pursued: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, B.S.

Prospective Graduation Year: 2024

Current Position: Undergraduate Student Researcher, Szpara lab


Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram | Email


What motivates you to do/pursue science and/or medicine?

When I was in high school, my math teacher once quoted a Bible verse, saying, “To whom much is given, much will be required.” Since then, I have followed this guideline because I consider myself to be very fortunate. I am motivated to pursue medicine because growing up in my hometown, basic necessities like food, health care, and good education were considered luxury items. Having been fortunate enough to reap these benefits and reach my current position as an undergrad at Penn State, I genuinely believe that everything happens for a purpose and that it is my calling to give back to my community. I enjoy making a difference in people's lives, and the medical area is the only one that comes to mind where I can perform both acts of kindness and like what I do.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

For me, Black history is about valuing and honoring significant African American accomplishments and how much they contributed to the prosperity of the United States of America.


Anything else you would like to share.

I am very grateful for all the opportunities that Penn State has offered me.