Cornell University
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Cornell University

The Appalachian Trail awaits Sasha Milton ’22 after Commencement

College: Arts & Sciences
Major: Biological sciences and psychology
Hometown: El Cerrito, California

Medical school is one possibility on the horizon for Sasha Milton ’22, but first he has his sights set on hiking the Appalachian Trail. The approximately six-month, 2,181-mile expedition from Georgia to Maine will give Milton plenty of time to absorb the lessons learned at Cornell and plot the course of his future.

“I would like to take at least a year to gain more experience in the health/genetics research field before attending medical school, so I will take some time to find something I’m really interested in,” Milton said.

While Milton says he will likely apply to medical school, he may also be interested in going into education or a Ph.D. program.

One of the most valuable skills he’s gained at Cornell is the ability to communicate scientific concepts to diverse audiences.

“This research experience helped me fall in love with the field of genetics and genomics, greatly shaping my plans after Cornell,” Milton says.

“Good science communication is extremely important, especially given all the distrust in the scientific method,” Milton says. “Cornell has been very good at helping me to learn how to make science accessible to people of varying degrees of scientific knowledge.”

Milton says Cornell’s science education gave him the confidence that he can succeed in the medical field, but the diversity of courses allow him many post-graduation options.

“Cornell has also given me the opportunity to explore multiple academic interests, as I was able to double major in biological sciences (with a concentration in genetics, genomics, and development) and psychology (where I focused on social psychology),” Milton says.

Milton received funding from the Biology Summer Internship Program (BioSIP) to complete a research project working in a cancer genetics lab at the University of California, San Francisco, one of the most influential things to happen to him at Cornell.

“This research experience helped me fall in love with the field of genetics and genomics, greatly shaping my plans after Cornell,” Milton says.

Milton says he received valuable support along the way from the Medical and Health Careers Advising Office and from the Office of Undergraduate Biology (OUB), which helped with everything from course planning to research funding.

“I wouldn’t have been able to participate in some of my most formative research experiences if not for the OUB,” Milton says.

Whether he’s on the Appalachian Trail, at medical school or elsewhere, Milton says he plans to stay in touch with Cornell through relationships he’s formed and by visiting Ithaca in the future.

Read more about Milton’s Cornell experience.

Cornell’s Class of 2022 has a great deal to be proud of: They have worked hard to forge their futures and make their mark, all the while finding success and demonstrating great resolve through a host of challenges, including the historic adversity of pursing their degrees during a pandemic.

Read more about this incredible group of Cornellians.

Written by Jesse Osbourne
Strategic Communications at Cornell University

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Cornell’s mission is to discover, preserve and disseminate knowledge, to educate the next generation of global citizens, and to promote a culture of broad inquiry throughout and beyond the Cornell community.

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