Jessica Brancely '20

Paying It Forward

Jessica Brancely ’14, ’20, graduated UNE with a medical biology degree and was recently accepted into UNE’s medical school. She has also been the recipient of a Presidential Scholarship and a Global Education Scholarship which allowed her to explore her interests in the neurosciences and spend a semester studying abroad in Seville, Spain. She gladly recounts, “I could not have attended UNE without the continuing scholarship support UNE gave me throughout my years as an undergraduate student. This support has made tremendous impact on my life and I’m very grateful.”

During her sophomore year, Jessica worked with Dr. Lei, studying neurogenesis (the formation of brain tissue) to see how the the deletion of a particular gene may affect the development of brain tissue, and how this could impact the possibility of developing a neurodegenerative disorder like Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. This work ultimately solidified Jessica’s interest in the neurosciences and provided her with an experience she could apply to real life work.

When deciding to pursue a career as a physician, being awarded the Doctors for Maine’s Future scholarship enabled her to apply to UNE. She goes on to explain, “Maine will always be home and it is the state where I plan to practice when I am a physician. Without the Doctors for Maine’s Future Scholarship, I can say I would have felt obligated to choose a different, out of state institution...I can now attend medical school in Maine, practice in Maine, and follow my dream of caring for underserved populations.”

As she continues to look for additional ways to continue helping others she remarks, “This is about the lives I’m touching and the true impact I am making on those lives. This experience makes me even more determined to continue to do service in the medical field in the future.”

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