Pfeiffer senior headed to Philadelphia for opportunity of a lifetime

Dillon Malloy
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Dillon Malloy ’17 established a goal early in his life to be a physical therapist—and set out during the course of his senior year at Pfeiffer to fulfill that with applications to PT graduate programs. What the exercise science major, Milton Rose Scholar and lacrosse team member didn’t realize was that his Pfeiffer experience would put him on a road to something different.

After a Skype interview over spring break with Drexel University, he got the surprise of his life when he was contacted with an offer—not for a spot in the physical therapy program but for one with the university’s neuroscience doctoral program. It came with a full scholarship, stipend and health insurance benefits.

“Conducting undergraduate research with Pfeiffer’s Honors Program and the Milton Rose Scholars program and making presentations about those projects at national conferences—along with my transcript and a summer internship with Carolinas Healthcare System—indicated to the team at Drexel that I’m ready for doctoral-level work,” said Dillon. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”

He credits his preparedness with Pfeiffer’s supportive faculty and administrators, who are “willing to give students the ability to go great places,” through independent research and other projects in which they are interested.

“Dr. Sherry Adams encouraged me to present my findings at the Society for Neuroscience and American College of Sports Medicine annual meetings,” he said. “Much of everything—presenting at conferences, applying for the summer internship and submitting a manuscript for publication—is because of her guidance and mentorship, for which I’m extremely grateful.”

As he prepares to spend the next four years in Philadelphia—the first one rotating through multiple laboratory assignments before focusing possibly on traumatic brain and spinal cord research—Dillon is excited about the future. 

“Doors open when you say ‘yes’—even when you don’t expect it,” he said. “I said yes to independent research, making presentations to physicians—and now to Drexel University.”