[Y HMC?] with Alyssa Okimoto

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Hi! My name is Alyssa Okimoto and I’m a rising senior majoring in chem-bio at Mudd. I heard about HMC in my freshman year of high school when one of Mudd’s Admission officers visited my school. Even as a freshman I knew I wanted to focus on the sciences, but I didn’t want to give up my interests in non-STEM subjects. This made HMC’s emphasis on humanities, social sciences, and the arts very appealing to me. I also liked the breadth of the Core which would allow me to explore subjects that weren’t offered at my small school, specifically engineering and computer science.

Alyssa Okimoto with cat.
Photo credit: Alyssa

As a senior in high school, I was debating between two colleges, one of which was Mudd. It was attending the admitted student programs and engaging with both communities that ultimately helped me make my decision to attend Mudd. Unlike the other college I visited, Mudd’s small community welcomed me immediately, and I really enjoyed talking to everyone I met there. Another plus was the low student-to-faculty ratio and lack of graduate students, which means smaller classes and more opportunities to work with professors!

Now at Mudd, I am currently part of the Spectrum Yearbook Club and I grade for several classes in the biology and chemistry departments. Once back on campus, I’m looking forward to conducting my thesis research in Prof. Hur’s lab on the relationships between metabolism, protein degradation, and aging in fruit flies. I’m also looking forward to spending time with friends, and going to the Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons. Aside from great food, I’ve found it’s also a great place to catch up with others (both students and professors!).

Alyssa poses in front of Harvey Mudd College sign.
Photo credit: Alyssa

This fall I’m also excited to be living in a suite in the Sontag Residence Hall. As a freshman at Mudd I lived in a Sontag suite with a few upperclassman, and it was there that I made some of the best memories I have of Mudd. Aside from cooking and playing games together during our free time, they also offered me a lot of advice which I still remember and follow today. One thing they repeated to me multiple times was to take it easy during the first semester. At Mudd, your first semester classes in the Core are all pass/no credit which gives new students time to adjust to college life and figure out what works for them. Make sure to keep this in mind if you choose to come to Mudd! Similarly, try to take it easy during the summer before you start college!