Photo of Anjelyna Siamphone
Anjelyna Siamphone

Spartan Showcase: Anjelyna Siamphone

Growing up in Cleveland, Anjelyna Siamphone was well aware of Case Western Reserve University—and of the opportunities that could await her there. She enrolled at the university as a first-generation college student, and now, in her third year of studies, is experiencing those opportunities firsthand.  

Siamphone is majoring in biology on the pre-med track with a minor in sports medicine. While she said she struggled to adjust to college life when she first arrived at CWRU, the support she has received has helped her thrive. She’s expanded her education as a member of a biology lab on campus and even founded a student organization to promote self-care for students.

Learn more about Siamphone’s experiences at CWRU.

1. Tell me about your experience as a first-generation student.

As a first-generation student, I had to go into most experiences without any of my parents’ help as they were just as unsure about my journey as I was. I had a couple of drawbacks and mistakes that I made in the beginning due to being a first-generation student. 

It was hard finding out how much not knowing about small details could affect my college experience, but thankfully many staff members on campus were able to help me work out my issues and solve these problems. As the years have gone by I have been able to get a hang of college life and get past these obstacles.

2. Can you describe your research experiences at CWRU?

During my first year, I emailed a professor right after learning about their research in hopes of joining their laboratory in some way. With a bit of luck, I began my research journey in the biology department on genetics. 

Although I did not know much about the specimen, Drosophila melanogaster, the whole lab was exceedingly helpful and encouraged me through my fear of insects. I overcame and continued learning many new techniques and terminology surrounding research in biology. 

Going into the laboratory not knowing much about the topic was a bit scary at first, however, as I was able to have an open mind and continued onward with excitement, my research experiences at CWRU were always on the brighter side. 

3. Are you involved in any student organizations or other extracurricular activities at CWRU?

At the end of my first year at CWRU, I founded my student-led organization called Se-xy (Self-care, Xoxo You!). From the beginning with 10 members to now with over 1,500, I have been part of a group of executive members leading our journey as the first and only self-care club here on campus focusing on self-love and mental health. 

We have hosted self-care exploration events throughout the semester for all of campus to begin their self-care journey in building healthy relationships with themselves and good habits that they can use past the college experience. I have been able to be part of this loving community that wishes for everyone to be their best and stay Se-xy. 

4. Have you had any internships or other experiential learning opportunities?

I have been able to do research at University Hospitals in the pediatric orthopedics department. There I have worked with a physician in their research of future artificial intelligence involvement in the health field. 

This opportunity has helped me gain insight into a different side of research, away from laboratory work. I have been able to learn more about the medical field, see medical terminology usage, and understand more about the career of a doctor than what meets the eye. 

8. Is there anything else you want to share?

Growing up, I did competitive artistic gymnastics for over 10 years. Although I was not the greatest gymnast and got hurt a lot, this helped me view the athletic world from a more medical perspective. 

Going from being a patient to now learning about how to care for patients, I continue to have a passion for sports medicine and often also volunteer my time in coaching younger gymnasts. While I may not have been able to continue my gymnastics career I hope to incorporate gymnastics into my future career one way or another.