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Justin Berg

Stamps 1693 ScholarJustin Berg

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Westport, CT (Staples HS)


Self-designed major in Biochemistry and minor in Music

Why W&M

When I was in high school, I saw college as a place where I would have the freedom to explore my varied interests. I felt drawn to so many areas, and it still seemed as if I had only dipped my toes into any one of them. As I applied to colleges across the East Coast, I wanted to find somewhere I could fully dive in. I had visited William & Mary once before, but it wasn’t until the virtual Finalist Weekend that I truly recognized how much it had to offer.

Over the course of many Zoom meetings, I came to appreciate the opportunities to learn and discover here. The strengths of the biology and global studies curriculums were apparent, and even aside from coursework, I saw the best of two worlds at W&M. It offered the resources available at larger research schools, but far more advising and opportunities to take advantage of them. In their research, professors clearly valued undergraduates’ contributions, and I valued the chance to take part. It was more evident here than anywhere else that I could begin my exploration as early as I wanted, and that independent research was just as important to W&M as it was to me.

As I listened to the other scholars’ experiences, I noticed their rare curiosity and ambition, but also camaraderie and collaboration. I saw myself at William & Mary, surrounded by similarly passionate people and a general culture of discovery. Once I was invited to be a 1693 Scholar, I knew no other school could match the opportunity I had been given.

W&M Activities
  • Young Lab at W&M (biochemistry)
  • iGEM at W&M (premiere synthetic biology competition)
  • Jonas Lab at Yale (neuroscience)
  • Bass Lab at Columbia (gastric cancer)
High School Activities
  • Violist at New York Youth Symphony
  • Principal violist and Youth Committee co-president of Norwalk Youth Symphony
  • Mentor/Tutor at Homes with Hope’s After-School Academic Program
Awards / Distinctions
  • National Merit Scholarship Finalist
  • Principal Violist of Connecticut All-State Festival Orchestra
  • First Place in Connecticut Science Olympiad Tournament