When Hannah Connolly ’16 and Courtney Franceschi ’16 first met while they were high school students, they bonded over their mutual interest in medical school and the options offered by the partnership between HWS and SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y. Upon arriving at HWS, the two reconnected, becoming fast friends and roommates. Following their passions, both Connolly and Franceschi have been accepted to the College of Medicine at Upstate Medical University, and upon graduation, will embark on exciting futures in medicine.
Franceschi and Connolly have been accepted to the medical school through its Early Assurance Program. Applying as undergraduate sophomores, the two are guaranteed a place at the prestigious medical university following their graduation from William Smith.
“Courtney and Hannah have excelled in their classes, pursuing both breadth and depth in their studies. They have also taken full advantage of the many opportunities to do more than the minimum, pursuing internships, taking on leadership roles and showing initiative by generating some of their own opportunities,” says Scott MacPhail, health professions advisor at HWS who has worked with both students throughout their undergraduate careers. “And throughout their time at HWS they have demonstrated a clear commitment to service, making a difference for others here at HWS, in Geneva and in the world.”
Connolly, who is pursuing an individual major in health disparities, plans to specialize in pediatric care or child psychiatry. As a physician, she will look to provide health care services to underdeveloped nations without access to quality care. Connolly says that she looks forward to Upstate’s Rural Medicine Program, through which she will be able to complete a rotation in a rural community with limited resources.
“Growing up in rural Upstate New York, I think this will be an amazing opportunity to learn about the nuances of rural healthcare in a comprehensive way before I even graduate,” she says.
Connolly is also a writing colleague, a tour guide for Admissions and a member of the William Smith lacrosse team. During the fall semester, she studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, in one of the Colleges’ most rigorous global education programs.
Franceschi, a biology major, plans to become an obstetrician/gynecologist after attending Upstate. She says her studies will also focus on women’s health and public health and she will pursue a master’s in public health while in medical school. Franceschi is a research student under Professor of Chemistry Erin Pelkey, a chemistry teaching fellow and a civic leader of the Geneva Heroes program.
During the summer, Franceschi completed an internship with Hand in Hand for Haiti at Lycée Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable in Saint-Marc, Haiti, as an assistant teacher and camp counselor. This experience sparked her interest in public health. Most recently, Franceschi studied abroad in Rome. A native of Geneva, she credits the supportive environment in which she grew up and the experiences offered by HWS as being foundations for her future careers.
“Attending HWS has broadened my perspective on how wonderful Geneva is and how important it is to give back to the community that raised me. I think that SUNY Upstate is the medical institution that is best able to suit the needs of communities in Upstate, N.Y., including my hometown, and I look forward to becoming a part of that,” she says.
“It’s been the supportive, inclusive community at HWS that has encouraged me to pursue my passions wholeheartedly,” Connolly agrees. “Leadership opportunities through William Smith athletics, research experience through the Summer Science Program, and my relationships with the incredible faculty, staff and students at HWS are what have given me an incredible foundation to make positive differences in the healthcare field throughout my future career.”
The Early Assurance Program offered by Upstate is another example of the partnership between the medical university and HWS. The two institutes have a lengthy shared history, beginning with the transfer of Geneva Medical College to Syracuse University. Currently, HWS and Upstate offer several acceptance programs, such as the Blackwell Medical Scholarship Program, which provides a unique opportunity for incoming first-years. Those who meet and maintain the standards of the program are guaranteed a place in the College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate upon their graduation from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
“Courtney’s and Hannah’s success in the SUNY Upstate Early Assurance Program is another indication of the shared values and goals of our two schools,” says MacPhail.