Student Spotlight: Taylor Galgay ’24
The Student Spotlight Series is a new feature to highlight Saint Michael’s students’ lives in all corners of campus. Students’ answers have been lightly edited for style and clarity.
Taylor Galgay from Windsor Vermont, is a Neuroscience major with minors in Philosophy and Chemistry. Galgay is in her fourth year at Saint Michael’s, but she is planning on doing a fifth year and will graduate in May of 2025. Galgay recently answered the series of questions below about her experience at Saint Michael’s College.
What brought you to Saint Michael’s College?
I transferred to Saint Mike’s in the Fall of 2020, and what drew me to the College was how much St. Mike’s did to go beyond my expectations. Saint Michael’s College initially drew me in with its commitment to altruism and purpose, qualities that are very important in my life. During my application process, the college reached out to me several times to offer their assistance and even mailed me a handwritten birthday card.
The college’s size had been a huge plus for me. I wanted a smaller and personalized learning environment, one where professors knew my name and I wasn’t just another face in a massive lecture hall. It was important to me to go to an institution with a small student-to-faculty ratio. St. Mike’s promised a close-knit academic community that would foster meaningful connections and mentorship opportunities.
Another major plus was the beauty of the Vermont landscape. The campus was a postcard-worthy scene, with historic buildings nestled amid the vibrant fall foliage. One of the most important factors to me was the opportunity for professional growth. St. Mike’s offered unique programs that aligned perfectly with my academic interests. St. Mike’s students also have an exceptionally high acceptance rate into medical school at 85%, well above the national average.
Where do people see you on campus?
A typical day for me looks colorful: I’m a fourth-year Resident Assistant (RA), so I frequently see my amazing residents and have the opportunity to chat with them and see how their day is going. I’m currently taking five classes that are in various concentrations, so I am able to communicate with students from all different types of majors. I am the co-founder and President of the Student Disability Advocacy Alliance (SDAA) on campus, so I’m often in our affinity space in Alliot 205 and working on advocacy projects with other club members.
I’m also one of the student leaders in research for the Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience research group where we study the underlying mechanisms of neurodegeneration in a model system, the Central American wandering spider Cupiennius salei. We compare our findings with human and rodent brain tissue. I check on our spider population daily and tend to them. Some of my daily tasks include feeding the spiders, cleaning their containers, or mating a couple to ensure population growth. I spend more of my day in Cheray Science Hall than I do in my room, so if you ever need me, come to Cheray.
What is your favorite thing about the academic experience at St. Mike’s?
By far, my favorite thing about the academic experience at St. Mike’s is the opportunity to do ground-breaking research as an undergraduate. Here at St. Mike’s, you have the opportunity to be much more intimately involved in experiments critical to the research and publications. Students have the rare opportunity to go beyond what many other universities offer their undergraduate students.
What is your favorite thing to do on campus?
Build meaningful memories with people on campus. I cherish all the laughs and great times. There’s not a day that goes by where someone doesn’t make me laugh. I truly have found my chosen family here.
How are you hoping your St. Mike’s education will prepare you for the future? (Do you have after-graduation plans?)
I plan to attend medical school after St. Mike’s and I feel confident that SMC will ensure that I am set up for success.
If you want to suggest a student to be profiled through the Student Spotlight Series, email email@example.com.