Post Alumna Maria Kaloidis is the 2020 Connecticut State Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Kaloidis graduated this year with a double major in biology and human services, along with a minor in chemistry.
Kaloidis had a number of relatives attend Post University, so she was excited when it came time to apply. “When I toured the campus, I was impressed. The tour itself was very personable, and I knew the small class sizes would allow for better relationships with my professors and peers,” said Kaloidis.
Kaloidis began her journey at Post as a biology major. “More than four years ago, I grappled with the notion of whether it would be possible for a person with near-complete paralysis, like myself, to pursue a degree in physical science,” said Kaloidis. However, she had a passion for genetics and studying the body, so she decided to follow her aspirations.
During her freshman year, Kaloidis took a chemistry course with Professor Anna Czachorowski, who inspired her to pursue a chemistry minor. Czachorowski provided Kaloidis one-on-one attention and assistance when needed.
“Her wonderful nature and passion for organic chemistry were exemplary,” said Czachorowski. “Maria is brilliant, and her mind is super analytical. She visualizes molecules, bonding, and hybridization of molecular structures like many are not able to do. Her passion for science and her love for people is truly marvelous.”
Kaloidis shares, “Throughout my academic journey, many professors took the time to make the physical component of biology accessible by thinking outside the box and using technology that can benefit future science students with disabilities. This included outfitting a lab microscope with a camera so that I was able to view objects on a projector screen as well as installing a wheelchair-accessible chemistry hood.”
Kaloidis shares that another former professor Dr. Randal Streck was also a strong influence in her educational pursuit. “He was the instructor for the first lab I ever took at Post and was a tremendous support throughout my college years by showing me that I was able to follow my dream of pursuing a career in science,” said Kaloidis.
During her junior year, Kaloidis took an introductory course in human services, which satisfied her passion for helping others. Kaloidis added a human services major during the second semester of her junior year in addition to her biology major and chemistry minor.
Excelling in pursuit of each degree, Kaloidis was awarded the Biology Award at the Student Government Association’s Leadership Banquet this past May. One student who best exemplifies leadership and merit is selected from each major to receive the award. Kaloidis was recognized for winning the award, and in addition, she graduated with Honors Program Academic Distinction. This year’s banquet was held virtually and can be viewed here.
This past March, Kaloidis became the Connecticut State Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, where she raises awareness of muscular dystrophy and supports fundraisers as well as personally expressing appreciation to those companies that raise and donate funds.
Kaloidis shares, “I am forever grateful for my time at Post University, including the invaluable opportunities for growth as both a professional and a person.”
For those interested, there is a Virtual Muscle Walk this Labor Day weekend. You can register or create a team here.