Meet the Majors

Ahlenne Abreu ’22


About Ahlenne

Class of 2022

Hometown: Washington Heights, New York City


Minor: Arabic

House: Cromwell House (Friedman Apartments)

Other clubs, sports, activities:
Shoutout to the Scordilis Lab!

Describe your major in five words or less.
A symbiotic marriage of disciplines

What’s your “Big Dream” for your future?
I want to advance the field of biomedical research by dedicating my work to developing novel therapeutics that have the potential to cure major diseases like cancer.

What was one thing that surprised you most about your major?
I was surprised by how passionate my professors were when they were teaching their courses. It was amazing to see their excitement and it also inspired me to dive more deeply into the material.

Did you ever have trouble deciding on a major? What, ultimately, helped you decide?
I was in-between chemistry and biochemistry, but what ultimately led me to major in biochemistry was the upper-level courses. These courses were fascinating to me because they investigated topics at the interface of biology and chemistry and they often discussed topics related to human disease which further interested me. Also, I loved the faculty in the biochemistry department!

What's your all-time favorite Smith memory?
My favorite Smith memory happened last semester. It was an intimate gathering of my closest friends in my apartment. There was food that I had cooked with two of my friends and it was delicious! It was the first time since before the pandemic that we were able to hang out in a similar fashion, so it was meaningful to be able to rekindle that tradition of eating together since it had been so long.

The class of 2022 is resilient. We have the potential to change the world for the better and we will.

Describe one moment with a professor that particularly sticks out to you.
It was a cold Saturday morning as I walked into Ford Hall to make my way to the lab. I was excited to share the news of my first graduate school acceptance with my thesis advisor, Prof. Scordilis. Upon sharing the news, I could see his big smile (even under the mask) and he hugged me, for the very first time in all my four years at Smith! It was a heart-warming moment and later that day, he invited me out to lunch to celebrate.

What spot on campus will you miss the most? Where was your favorite place for dinner?
I will miss Ford Hall the most because I have spent the majority of my time there and I think it is the nicest looking academic building. My favorite place for dinner on campus is Gillett and, in town, it is the Northampton Brewery.

What do you wish other people knew about the class of 2022?
The class of 2022 is resilient. We have the potential to change the world for the better and we will.

If you could tell an incoming first-year anything about Smith, what would it be?
Take advantage of every opportunity that Smith has to offer and be willing to tap into the Smith alum network early!

What do you think has been the most “Smithie” thing you’ve done in life so far?
To me, Smithies are trailblazers and they are ambitious. I exemplified these qualities during my junior year in which I was awarded two nationally recognized scholarships, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, and the Gladys Anderson Emerson Scholarship for my accomplishments in scientific research and the biochemistry program.