Isaac Daudelin won a full scholarship to Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
Daudelin won a scholarship to Rutgers New Jersey Medical School that will allow him to simultaneously pursue an M.D. and a Ph.D. The joint program, offered to only the top students in the nation, will allow him to work on research while also taking medical classes. The M.D. / Ph.D. program is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
He’s accomplished all this never having attended a formal elementary or high school: Isaac was homeschooled, like all nine of his siblings, four of whom attend or have attended the Albert Dorman Honors College.
In this interview, Isaac talks about the benefits of being homeschooled as well as the research he did at NJIT and the highlights of his time here.
You’re graduating early?
I am not in any accelerated program but I am graduating at the end of my third year anyway just because I meet all of the graduation requirements. My major is a B.S. in biology and I am graduating this May.
Tell us about your siblings.
I have four siblings in addition to myself who have come/are coming to the Albert Dorman Honors College at NJIT: David and Jonathan have graduated, and Timothy (a second year student majoring in biology) and I are current students. My sister Elizabeth is entering as a freshman this fall. She too intends to study math.
Did you enjoy being home-schooled?
All of my siblings and I have been home-educated (K-12) prior to being enrolled at NJIT. My parents chose to home educate us – there are 10 children in the family -- because they believed that it was the way to give my siblings and me the best education possible (even though it was more expensive and a lot more time consuming). Home education has been a real blessing in many ways. In addition to the superior educational value of a home education, we avoided many of the negative aspects of the public school system such as teachers who don't care about the students, bullying, negative peer pressures, etc. And despite the popular stereotype of home-educated students being antisocial or having trouble fitting in with society, my brothers and I have felt completely comfortable with the transition to NJIT and have had no trouble at all fitting in with our peers.
What are some highlights of your NJIT education?
Probably the main highlight of my time at NJIT has been the IDS program. Being able to form a team and choose any topic we wanted to research, and then getting the opportunity and the funding to research it once we convinced the board that it was worth researching, has been such a great experience. In addition to researching our idea we also got to compete at several competitions and won multiple prizes and research grants to help fund our research.
Some other highlights include learning karate and becoming the assistant teacher for the NJIT karate classes, being a member of the NJIT club bowling team during my sophomore year, taking the MCAT at the end of sophomore year, being a part of the Albert Dorman Honors College and finishing the requirements for my undergraduate degree a year earlier than planned. I feel that my education has prepared me well for medical school. Although I expect plenty more work and a more rigorous schedule at medical school, I feel well prepared to handle whatever they have to offer.
What are your older brothers doing?
My older brother Jonathan, who graduated last year from NJIT with a degree in mechanical engineering, is now finishing his first year at Cornell, where he is studying mechanical engineering for his Ph.D. My brother David, who graduated from NJIT in 2012 with a degree in computer science, is now working for AT&T as a Senior Specialist Applications Developer. He also earned his master’s degree in computer science from NJIT.
How has the Honors College helped you and your family?
The generosity of the Albert Dorman Honors College and the availability of merit-based scholarships at NJIT has been a great blessing to my family, and was one of the determining factors in my choice of coming to NJIT. Especially in a family of ten, you want to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck. In addition to the financial investment perspective, the scholarships I received have enabled me to focus more attention on my academics and research without having to worry about getting a part-time/summer job.
What will you miss about NJIT?
I have fully enjoyed my time at NJIT and if I could go back and do it all over again I would choose NJIT without hesitation. I have really liked my classes and felt that the professors (at least for the most part) really took an interest in the students. I feel that my academic adviser became more like a friend who really wanted me succeed. But of all the things I like about NJIT, the one thing I'll miss the most is Gourmet Dining Services (GDS). The ability to access a huge variety of great food at all times throughout the day is probably my favorite thing about NJIT.
By Robert Florida