Biology with a Biomedical Emphasis
Savannah Melvin is from Roseboro, North Carolina, and graduated in May of 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Biomedical Emphasis. During her time at UNCP, Savannah held several leadership positions and is proud to have served in each one. While serving as the Chair of the Student Honors Council for the 2016-2017 academic year, the Student Honors Council was awarded the Chancellor’s Cup. Along with receiving the Chancellor’s Cup, Savannah was also named the 2016-2017 Emerging Leader of the Year and 2017-2018 Outstanding Leader of the Year. Throughout all her leadership endeavors and extracurricular activities, Savannah maintained a high-grade point average, qualifying for the Chancellor’s list each semester she was at UNCP. She enjoyed being a member of the honors college and said, “I enjoyed being a part of a small knit community that gave me the opportunity to build professional relationships with professors.” Savannah explained that the honors seminar classes were rewarding to her because, “class consisted of engaging, meaningful, and intellectual conversations.”
For her senior project, Savannah chose to write a research thesis about the primary research she conducted with Dr. Poage and his Animal Physiology class. The research focused on Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), which is an autoimmune disease that is not very common. Savannah was also a Semester-long Undergraduate Research Fellow, which awarded her grant money for her research. Savannah was interested in doing primary research on an autoimmune disease because it relates to her interests in clinical medicine.
After graduation, she continued working as a paramedic during the summer and began Physician Assistant (PA) school in the fall at Methodist University. Savannah encourages honors students to not overwhelm themselves and get involved outside of their studies. She said, “Don’t try to tackle five things at once, but instead get involved with opportunities that are truly interesting because it will make your time at UNCP even more fun.” She also advised students to build relationships with professors and explore the academic opportunities they can provide. As a freshman, Savannah came to UNCP to play a sport but then resigned after her freshman year. She said, “Finding my new niche and getting involved opened new experiences and opportunities for me.” Her greatest memory at UNCP was allowing herself to grow as an individual and explore new opportunities, which have contributed to her success as a student and as a leader. Her last piece of advice is “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Going outside of your comfort zone is critical for personal and professional growth.”
Mentor: Robert Poage
3,4-Diaminopyridine as a treatment for LEMS