Posted May 2009
Julia Bendzin is an exchange student from Bay Path College in Massachusetts. She is a Forensic Sciences major, a career path that she has been interested in since she was 7 years old. Chaminade and Bay Path have a student exchange agreement.
Quiet and intense, Julia often picks just a few words to express much more. Julia says about her Chaminade experience, “I couldn’t be happier about it.” In comparing the two schools (both excellent picks for a Forensic Sciences degree) she says that “Bay Path is a lab school, Chaminade is a field school.”
At Bay Path: “It is very intense lab work. We’ve been studying genetics, genomics, DNA.” At Chaminade, “Things you do in the classroom – these are the things you will be doing in real life.” What has she been up to here? The jargon of the professional emerges: “I’ve been working on a decomp study with Dr. Goff. And today we set up a blood spatter lab – working on velocity, cast-offs… it was fun.” Julia says, “I love the faculty and staff. It is a different style of teaching.” She appreciates the space and resources Chaminade offers to the forensic sciences program.
In the area of student life, Chaminade is a big contrast with her east-coast school. The most striking: “I like the fact that there are guys here. I go to an all-girls school.” Also different: “It is very diverse here, I’m learning a lot from that. I’m a lot more involved, I’ve joined a couple of clubs, helped out with others.” Has she had a chance to enjoy Hawaii? “Oh yes, I’ve made friends at my dorm, and I’ve had a chance to go out and play – I’ve been to the North Shore a couple times, snorkeling, hiking. I love the weather. And I like just going into the city, to Waikiki with friends. It is safe here, I think nothing of walking around, and it is really ok. You can’t do that where I come from, there are too many places where you should not be out walking around. It is definitely a different mentality.”
In one word, Julia states her time at Chaminade has been “refreshing.” She chose Bay Path, and her Chaminade experience as well, because she was looking for programs in small schools. Julia states, “It is hardest to find a good (Forensics) program at a small place. Most of the programs are big programs at large universities.”
When this semester is complete, Julia is looking forward to an interview (and internship) this summer with the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office back home in Syracuse, New York. She hopes to come back to Honolulu to pursue graduate studies at Chaminade.
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