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I am Smith

Kareen Seignon

Kareen Seignon

Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti
Biological sciences major


My mother died when I was 3 and my older sister was 4. My father, who is a U.S. resident, applied for my sister and me to get residency in the United States. In 2008, about a year and a half after I started studying law and linguistics at Université d’ Etat d’ Haiti, our residency was granted; my sister and I left Haiti right away and moved to Florida. After a year of English, we both started taking college classes at Miami Dade College. As we were completing our associate degrees in biology, we met a representative from Smith. We applied and were offered very generous financial aid packages to attend.

“Professors are so accessible. You can email them and get a reply right away, or stop into their offices.”

Now, as a biological sciences major, I spend most of my time in Ford Hall. I love science and want to explore the biomedical field. This summer, I have been accepted as a Smith Summer Research Fellow to work with Professor Steve Williams, who is doing research to eliminate the disease lymphatic filariasis. Everyone here is very smart, very goal oriented. I like that. And there are so many resources. If I need help, I know where to get it. I use peer tutors when I am having problems with some of my homework. I can also email drafts of my papers to professors to get their feedback before handing them in. Professors are so accessible. You can email them and get a reply right away, or stop into their offices. 

Making friends has been easy at Smith. Whenever I get a chance, I join my housemates for Smith’s traditional Friday afternoon tea. As I was thinking about where to go during break last semester, I really wanted to go home but didn’t have the money. One friend offered me a place to stay; another gave me her airline miles to buy a ticket. Those are the kinds of people you meet here: very generous, very kind. 

This year, I volunteered to help plan Discovery Weekend, an overnight program for admitted women of color, because last year, when my sister and I attended, everyone was so welcoming and helpful. I want someone else to have that same experience.