Scholarship Success Stories: Whitney Hazard
Name: Whitney Hazard
Chapter: Gamma Iota Chapter at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Scholarship Received: Dr. Helen Vassallo Gamma Iota Scholarship
"I absolutely would not be the confident woman I am today in my career without the lessons of substance, character, and influence that Phi Sigma Sigma taught me."
How did your Foundation scholarship impact you and your career?
I was humbled and honored to have received the Dr. Helen Vassallo Gamma Iota scholarship twice during my time in chapter. The scholarship helped me pay for books and other supplies that I needed for my classes. While I was in chapter I had the privilege of getting to work with Helen since she was our faculty advisor. Helen has had such an incredible career and she truly embodies what it means to be a Phi Sigma Sigma sister. She shared her wisdom with all of us on a regular basis and I hoped to make her proud by being a recipient of the scholarship named for her.
Where has your career path taken you since graduation?
After graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in 2017 with a Bachelor's degree in biology and biotechnology, I went on to attend the University of Rhode Island (URI). I graduated with a Master's Degree in human development and family studies as part of the College Student Personnel program in 2019. While I was at URI, I worked as a graduate hall director and I completed internships in both the New Students Programs office and the office of Academic Advising for Student Athletes. I was passionate about working with college students, however when it came time to graduate, I missed being immersed in science and technology. Ultimately, my career path has led to working in clinical operations at biotechnology companies. I am currently an associate clinical trial manager for a biopharmaceutical company in the greater Boston area. I also currently serve as the chapter key advisor for the Gamma Iota Chapter at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. So in the end, I have been able to pursue both of my passions.
How has Phi Sigma Sigma impacted your career?
Phi Sigma Sigma has given me so many opportunities both as an undergraduate student, a graduate student, and as an alumna. Being in Phi Sigma Sigma gave me experience in leadership roles that has transitioned to my professional career. It has also given me an invaluable network and support system. I recently discovered a coworker of mine is a Phi Sigma Sigma and this instantly created a deeper connection between us. I absolutely would not be the confident woman I am today in my career without the lessons of substance, character, and influence that Phi Sigma Sigma taught me.
What advice would you give today's collegians?
Advice I would give to collegians today is the same advice I gave to the Gamma Iota Chapter when I first became chapter key advisor - that it is okay if you don't have it all figured out right now. I wanted to be a pediatrician for my entire life until junior year at WPI when I changed my mind. Then I changed my mind again when I was finishing my Master's degree at URI. The path that I took in my career to get where I am today is unconventional, but it brought me to where I am supposed to be. If you had asked me five years ago where I would be in my career, there is no way I could have predicted the success that I have had and the position that I am in now. So, my advice ultimately is that it is okay to change your mind and trust that you are working toward success, no matter what that success will look like.