Amy Spallone '08, winner of the 2015 One-to-Watch Alumni Award

Alumni Spotlight

Her Journey Started Here

Amy Spallone is fascinated by the microbial world. Creatures so small that they escape the naked eye, but powerful enough, Amy said, to wreak havoc on the world around them. These agents … bacteria, parasites, viruses … drive evolution. They have piqued Amy’s curiosity and lured her into a profession focused completely on helping.

Amy graduated from Corning-Painted Post East High School in 2006 and enrolled at CCC the following Fall, following a long list of family members who did the same. Her stellar high school grades would have opened the doors to any college, but there was never a question, Amy said, that she would start at CCC.

“My parents would have supported a decision to go anywhere,” said Amy, who earned the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in 2008. “But starting at CCC is just what you do. CCC has been a leader in preparing women for careers in the STEM fields since its beginning, which aligned with my goal to work in the field of medicine. The combination of family history and CCC’s commitment to women in science made CCC a logical choice.”
 
Early in her CCC career, she told Professor David Pindel that she would be a doctor and would specialize in infectious disease. Not that she might be a doctor … not that she hoped to be a doctor ... that she would be a doctor. She hasn’t strayed from that vision. While she was at CCC, she sought opportunities to enrich her learning. She was a science tutor. She was a lab assistant for ecology and general biology courses, setting up experiments, mixing solutions, and calculating results. And she shadowed physicians in the community.   

“Amy is quite an impressive young woman,” said Professor David Pindel. “She brings the whole package to the classroom: motivation, work ethic, critical intellect, and unparalleled empathy. She infects, pun intended, everyone she meets with optimism, and her confidence can’t help but rub off on those around her.”

After earning her associate’s degree, she transferred to Cornell University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and traveled with the Global Medical Brigades to Honduras.

Amy chose Albany Medical College for her next step. While earning her medical degree, she also published in Infectious Disease in Clinical Practice, a peer-reviewed journal, and was an invited speaker at a handful of regional conferences. She is currently in the first year of a three-year Internal Medicine residency at Stony Brook University Hospital. Once her residency is tucked neatly inside her white coat, Amy has a plan to secure what she described as the best of both worlds: clinical service and research through additional fellowship training in the field of Infectious Disease. She aspires to work in a university hospital and expects that her future will be a combination of consultative care across the spectrum of medical disciplines and field work.

“One day, I might work with an obstetrician treating a pregnant woman who is also fighting malaria,” said Amy.  “Another day, I might help care for an HIV patient with an AIDS-defining cancer or I might help a surgical team treat a patient with a blood stream infection. Mixed in will be a trip to Peru to study tropical diseases. The possibilities are endless, and they’re all fascinating!”

Amy recently earned the One to Watch Award from CCC’s Alumni Association. The entire CCC family will enjoy watching Amy’s professional progress!