Another Salk For York

Sheryl Purrier, a Biology major, graduated with honors from York College in 2006; but she never left York. She continued to work in the lab of her mentor, Dr. Margaret MacNeil, on the prize-winning research paper, "The Organization for the Inner Nuclear Layer of the Cat Retina."

Ms. Purrier also worked in the developmental biology lab of another York professor, Dr. Gerard McNeil and was co-author of a paper published in the journal, Developmental Genes and Evolution. 

And Purrier’s hard work has just been rewarded with the Salk Scholarship for 2009. Her journey has been a long one both literally and scholastically.
Born and reared in Jamaica, West Indies, Sheryl enrolled at York in 2002 and enjoyed the full spectrum of college life, serving the campus community as student senator and vice president of York Student Government, respectively, while maintaining status as an honor student. 

She took the train to York’s downtown Jamaica campus from her home in the Bronx, passing on her way, six other CUNY campuses. Purrier was determined to come to York for its outstanding pre-med program and track record for placing students in outstanding medical schools around the country.

The star student once remarked to the York College Foundation Board, “York not only taught me to be a citizen of the United States. York taught me to be a citizen of the world.”

And that experience will serve her well as she leaves York.

As a Salk Scholarship winner, Purrier follows in the immediate footsteps of Fiona Smith, ’05, Max Saenz, ’06 and Angela Hopkinson, ’07. 

Over its 40-year existence, York has created dozens of pre-med students who have won the prestigious Salk Scholarship – including Dr. Angelo Gousse, valedictorian of the Class of 1986, who graduated from Yale Medical School with honors in 1990.  A specialist in urology, Dr. Gousse is also a full professor in the Department of Urology at the University of Miami Medical School.

And in an academic ode to the relay race, Fiona Smith will graduate from Penn State Medical School this spring and Sheryl Purrier will enter in the fall 2009 semester. 

She will inevitably pass the baton to another York scholar in her wake.

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