For Kira Glasmacher ‘24, a biostatistics and mathematics double major and an international student from Germany, the decision to enroll in Emmanuel College was an easy one.
The College checked all the boxes.
Small school? Check
Located in Boston? Check
Offers a biostatistics major? Check.
“I wanted to attend a smaller school. German universities are huge and you don't really know any of your professors. I wanted to major in something at the intersection of bio and math,” she said. “The combination of small school and having a biostatistics major is pretty rare, so Emmanuel stood out. And during the virtual accepted students’ day, everyone was just so nice that I felt like it was the right fit for me.”
Receiving the M. Killion Kiley Scholarship was icing on the cake. The scholarship allows Kira to focus on research projects with faculty.
“My dad is retired, and my mom is unable to work, so I don’t have a stable income from home, in Germany,” she said. “Thanks to my scholarship, I have financial stability and support that allows me to focus on classwork and research. I don’t have to worry about working in a restaurant after class.”
Since her sophomore year, Kira has served as an undergraduate research assistant for Assistant Professor of Biology Vincent Cannataro, investigating how mutation and selection drives specific cancer types. They presented their research at the December 2023 American Association for Cancer Research Special Conference in Cancer Research: Translating Cancer Evolution and Data Science, held in Boston.
“We do a lot of coding data analysis, and data visualization, which I really love,” she said. “My work with Dr. Cannataro has helped me realize I want to go into that field after graduation.”
Kira plans to pursue a Ph.D. in bioinformatics. From there, “I want to go further into research, preferably in the fields of bioinformatics and mathematical biology. Teaching is also something I enjoy, as I've been involved in tutoring and instructional assisting. My goal is to eventually find a position at an academic institution where I can do both research and teaching,” she said.
In addition to her role as a research assistant, Kira also tutors fellow students in a variety of math and data analytics courses and serves as an instructional assistant in biology labs.
Even with her rigorous schedule, Kira makes sure to carve out time for herself and her well-being.
“I'm president of the Math Club, and we host social events like board game night or trivia night, giving me a chance to hang out with peers and the awesome faculty from the Math Department,” she said. “And the COF Dance Ensemble has introduced me to some of my closest friends, who I would call my second family.”
From day one at Emmanuel, Kira has taken advantage of all the College has to offer, and that has helped her to feel at home as an international student.
“It was easy to find a community. I joined the Science Living and Learning Community (SLLC) as a freshman, and that helped me make friends with other STEM majors and get through tough classes together,” she said. “Whenever I have questions specific to international students, there are plenty of international professors at Emmanuel who are always extremely supportive and helpful.”
Kira herself has been a supportive and helpful resource to the many students she has mentored in the Academic Resource Center and the labs.