Deby Philbrick, from Dallas, Texas, is truly setting an exemplary precedent for what a highly successful and motivated UR undergraduate student should be. A current junior, Philbrick has immersed herself in a plethora of extracurricular activities and programs, all while persevering academically as an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major to fulfill her noble ambition of becoming a pediatric surgeon.

Philbrick, the business manager of the Off Broadway on Campus (OBOC) musical group, can always be seen organizing events, performing with her troupe and sharing her passion for musical theater around campus. Her vibrant personality complements her desire to help other people, and she has actively engaged herself as a Genetics Teaching Assistant and a D’Lion to assist her fellow peers at UR. She is also a member of the Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority and conducts research for the Jaenike Lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UR.

Why did you choose to major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology?

I’m majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology but am integrating some Molecular Genetics courses so my education reflects more of a Molecular Evolution major – a major UR doesn’t have. This area intrigues me because it looks at everything from how environments influence speciation to how diseases are changing in front of our eyes.

Why did you want to be a D’Lion?

I wanted to be a D’Lion so that I could pass on some information to the freshmen that makes life a little easier – like how you can dry your clothes for an hour as long as it’s on low heat. It’s also great to live vicariously through their light workload and carefree ways.

What are your career aspirations?

I want to be a pediatric surgeon specializing in ENT (ears, nose and throat). An internship I took part in the summer after my freshman year really reinforced my aspirations and solidified how fulfilling it is to work with kids.

What’s the last good movie you saw?

I finally saw “300” a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it. The fight scenes were amazing and the story was actually very inspirational, but I did cover my eyes when the rhino got stabbed.

What’s the last book you read?

“The Lost Painting” by Jonathon Harr. It’s a true story about how the once lost painting, Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ” was discovered. I love non-fiction history novels that make the past so engaging.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Ice cream, which has transformed into Abbott’s custard because they just got pumpkin.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Rochester?

People-watching at Java’s or Sinbad’s.

Venkateswaran is a member of the class of 2011.



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