Elizabeth Luke ’15


Major: Mathematics & Science with an Honors minor

High School: East Syracuse-Minoa High School


Elizabeth Luke became interested in a career in biomedical research while taking an AP biology class at East Syracuse Minoa High School. As she and her mother researched higher education options they found exactly what they were looking for in the Medical Biotechnology program at SUNY Upstate Medical University. The best way to get to Upstate would be through Onondaga Community College. Luke came to the College in time for the fall 2013 semester and enrolled in a university-parallel program which would prepare her to transfer to Upstate in two years.

“I came to OCC simply to get my coursework done so I could get started on my degree at Upstate. I didn’t account for how much I would learn at OCC in the process,” Luke said. Two professors played significant roles in her development. Luke said both Dr. Barbara Wells and Maryann Page were filled with knowledge and enthusiasm for what they taught and always had their doors open for professional and life questions.

During her two years on campus Luke was a member of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and a STEM Scholar. Her experiences both inside and outside the classroom had an impact on her growth as a student and as a person. “It gave me the opportunity to be part of a diverse population that really exposed me to experiences and viewpoints I had not considered before.” In 2015 Luke earned a degree in Mathematics & Science with an Honors minor.

Two years later Luke is now the proud owner of a bachelor’s degree in Medical Biotechnology from Upstate. Her plan to start her college education at OCC worked perfectly. “The parallel program was exactly what I needed. When it was time to transfer I was prepared and all of my credits transferred with no issues.”

This fall, Luke will begin working on her master’s degree in Laboratory Sciences at the New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center in Albany. After she earns her degree in two years she plans to assess her career options. Her goal is to stay in public health and specialize in infectious disease and viruses.

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