On a summer day, Neha Metgud could stop by a lab to oversee DNA extraction or learn how to build robots. She may visit local restaurants to request donations of pizza or ice cream. She might even come up with a few surprises for a carnival-themed graduation ceremony.
Whatever Metgud’s days have in store, her work benefits Women Empowered by Science, a weeklong summer camp held at Wilkes University for girls in grades seven through 12. Campers gain hands-on experience in biology, chemistry, environmental engineering, nursing, pharmacy, physics and robotics.
WEBS played an early part in the Mountain Top, Pennsylvania, senior’s interest in the sciences. The biology major and chemistry minor came to campus as a WEBS camper in seventh grade, volunteered with the program in high school and served as the coordinator since she was a first-year student at Wilkes. She’s now in her 12th and final year with the program.
“Girls always want to come back because it’s such a great opportunity,” says Metgud. “I truly believe we have future doctors and engineers coming to this camp. It’s awesome to be a part of that.”
While Metgud enjoys watching campers catch a scientific spark, she’s also learning and building upon the time management, leadership and communication skills that will serve her well when the fall semester starts.
In addition to classes, Metgud researches squirrel behavior with Michael Steele, biology professor and H. Fenner Chair of Research Biology. She also serves as an e-mentor to first-year students, Honors Program peer mentor, is a member of Student Government and president of Beta Beta Beta, a biology honor society.
“Your college experience is what you make of it,” says Metgud. “I truly love everything I’m involved in.”
After graduation in 2022, Metgud will put her Wilkes experiences to work in the next phase of her life. She plans to attend podiatry school and pursue a career as a foot and ankle surgeon.
Debra Chapman, faculty of practice and WEBS program director, enjoys watching student leaders like Metgud take charge. “When they take these roles, they literally run with them. Our students love to teach and mentor those coming behind them. I just sit back and watch. It’s so cool.”