Alba Herrero Gómez always loved basketball, but she never dreamed it would launch her on a transatlantic journey and change her life. After being recruited by an elite team in Terrassa, Spain, where she lives, and winning the Spanish championship in high school, she was contacted by a school in Oklahoma to recruit her. While that opportunity didn’t work out, her highlight reel caught the attention of Georgian Court University.
“The head coach of basketball here saw the tape, and she told me everything about the university: the small classes, the beautiful campus, how close it was to New York,” she says. “I just fell in love with the idea, and I said, ‘Yes,’” she recalls.
From Day One, Georgian Court felt like home, and Alba dove in. During her first year, she majored in biology on the pre-medical school track, when a professor encouraged her to challenge herself by majoring in biochemistry. She loved it so much, she changed her major and “was all about research,” she says. Now, she wants to become a researcher in a medical laboratory and be able to help find a way to prevent and more effectively treat diseases like cancer or autoimmune diseases.
Despite being a star player on one of the campus’s most rigorous teams, Alba realized there weren’t many peer tutors in her field of study, so she volunteered. During her sophomore year, she was also accepted as a resident assistant (RA). Her good time management skills helped her meet all of her obligations. She was even named to the Fall 2018 President’s List, which recognizes undergraduate students with a term grade point average of 3.9 or higher with at least 12 credit hours of letter-graded courses.
One of the biggest advantages Georgian Court has offered her is hands-on experience, Alba says. In a bigger school, machinery used to do experiments would actually be run by upperclassmen or teaching assistants. “But we’re lucky enough here that the class sizes are small enough that we get to use all the material and machines,” she says. And while she’s headed to the College of Staten Island to pursue a master’s degree in biotechnology, Alba willbe back to visit her “home” at Georgian Court—and attend a few basketball games.
Story contributed by Gwen Moran.