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Alex Gendreau

Murray 1693 Scholaralex_gendreau


Yorktown, VA (Hampton Roads Academy)

Areas of Interest

Neuroscience, Biology, Biochemistry, Hispanic Studies

Why W&M

Growing up only 30 minutes away from William & Mary, my familiarity with the school began much earlier than my college application process did. I first stepped foot onto the campus as a sophomore and instantly fell in love with the beauty and warmth of Williamsburg and its residents. Out of all the schools I toured, W&M was the only one to make such an impact on me. It already felt like home.

As a passionate scientist who would spend everyday in a lab if given the option, I was immediately taken by with the sheer amount of research happening on campus. I grew excited about the opportunities W&M had to offer me as I heard countless stories of undergraduates, even freshmen, getting to work in labs with professors. It was obvious to me that the school’s smaller, tight-knit community offered its students a more intimate and accessible college experience than some other larger schools may be capable of. It felt as though every student had the opportunity to live their college years to the fullest with passionate professors to help them succeed.

Despite my initial fondness for the school, as my college application process continued on, I wasn’t quite set on W&M. In theory, it had everything I wanted: amazing academics and research opportunities in a beautiful town. However, I was still unsure that W&M was the place for me. It wasn’t until the virtual 1693 finalist “weekend” that I was certain my next four years should be spent in Williamsburg. The enthusiasm, kindness, and passion the students exuded convinced me that W&M was not only a place for me to further my education, but a collaborative community of supportive professors and students. Even from behind a screen, the people I met during the finalist weekend made me feel welcome. My experience during the finalist weekend caused any previous hesitancy I had to completely vanish, as I knew that William & Mary was the perfect place for me to learn, grow, and be proud to call my home. 

W&M Activities
  • Equestrian Team Member and Club Treasurer
  • Latin American Student Union
  • Chemistry Research with Professor J.C. Poutsma
  • Summer 2022 research: I worked in the David Sherman Lab at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I studied bacterial oxidase enzymes with the goal of determining their structure using crystallography techniques. Understanding these enzymes may help to elucidate new enzymatic routes to medicinally significant compounds.
High School Activities
  • Neuroscience Internship with Dr. David Knight at Christopher Newport University
  • Co-president of Operation Smile Club
  • Operation Smile Virginia Regional Leadership Council Member
  • Secretary of Spanish Club
  • Vice President of Preventing Animal Cruelty Club
  • Varsity Riding Team member
  • Language/Science/Math Tutor
  • Mu Alpha Theta Math Honors Society
  • National French Honors Society
  • Cum Laude Honors Society
Awards / Distinctions
  • National Hispanic Scholar
  • National AP Scholar with Distinction
  • National Spanish Exam Bronze and Silver Medalist
  • National French Exam Silver and Gold Medalist
  • Princeton University Book Award
  • Golden Skull Biology Award
  • Honors Chemistry Award
  • Honors French IV Award
  • AP Biology Award
  • Highest Academic Achievement Award
  • Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Champion
  • Interscholastic Equestrian Association Local Sportsmanship Award
  • Dr. Orders Outstanding Senior Project Award