Upon first meeting her, few people would guess that Abagaile has taken everything from ballet, tap, and Irish dance, to cheerleading, karate, and marching band. Growing up a military brat, moving around was normal for her. Despite this constant change, one thing that was always there for her was her passion for running.
It was this passion and the opportunity to run on a collegiate team that initially led Abagaile to STAC. “I came not really knowing what I wanted to do for a career, but STAC is known for having a great education program which really caught my attention. I think seeing some of my professors really love what they do made me want to do the same,” she says.
In the fall of her junior year, Abagaile decided she would pursue a degree in education, to teach high school physics. “Seeing my professors like Dr. Emanuel for example, be so passionate about learning was very eye-opening. She makes it fun and that really inspired me to want to provide the same feeling to students of my own one day,” she says.
Something Abagaile loves most about being a student in the Natural Science Department is, “the fun labs which I think really help enforce the material that we learn in lecture. I love the hands-on learning experience that the department provides and really see how rewarding it is in terms of real-world application.”
In addition to being a student, Abagaile is heavily involved on campus. She is a member of the science club, and math club, and is on both the cross country and track & field teams. Just last year, Abagaile qualified for the NCAA national tournament in Sacramento, California by clocking 23:07.1 over 6,000 meters to finish 10th out of 162 in the D-II women’s East Region Championships. Abagaile’s academic and athletic achievements have truly shown that she is not afraid to put herself out there, try new things, and get involved.
This mentality has certainly paid off for Abagaile as she has just finished up her internship at Pfizer, which began back in December 2018. While there, Abagaile worked in the Oncology Research Department, where she would help conduct studies and aid with general lab maintenance. As part of this lab maintenance, she maintained laboratory stock, equipment, and hazardous and normal waste streams, inspected safety equipment, and performed weekly maintenance of cryopreservation tanks.
Abagaile is about to start her senior year and is really looking forward to not only competing in her final seasons for both cross country and track & field but also for the future. She has plans to get a master’s degree and would like to become a physics teacher at a local high school.
Abagaile’s advice for future students? “Get involved at STAC. Do whatever makes you happy, whether that means joining a club, being on a sports team or watching games, attending events, conducting research with a professor, or even just hanging out with friends. There are so many opportunities to make connections with new people. Take advantage of it.”
In her free time, Abagaile likes to hike, play piano, read, attend Broadway shows, and of course, run!