Bridget visited Spain over summer break.

Bridget’s Bio

  • Major: Biomedical Sciences and Psychology
  • Hometown: Williamsville, New York

Bridget Hughes likes to stay busy, even on her study breaks.

Bridget in Spain

During her summer break, Bridget took 10 days to backpack across Spain.

An honors scholar double majoring in biomedical sciences and psychology, Bridget devotes a great deal of time to her studies. And it shows; she’s been a researcher in behavioral medicine and psychology labs, and her paper on childhood obesity was awarded a medal of distinction at UB’s 2010 Celebration of Academic Excellence.

But the classroom experience is just part of what keeps Bridget so busy. She’s also an active volunteer in the community, working with children with developmental disabilities. Her ambition is to synthesize her knowledge of medicine and psychology to be able to serve the total well-being of children as a developmental pediatrician.

Bridget outside

Bridget stays active outside of the classroom by figure skating and volunteering with organizations that serve children with developmental disabilities.

“Developmental pediatrics has a psychological element to it, because you’re not just working on their physical health problems, but helping them adapt better, working with families on behavior plans and working on things to help them function better mentally as well as physically,” Bridget said. “Behavioral medicine and developmental pediatrics seems like the perfect combination of medicine and psychology.”

“I think research is giving me a way to learn a lot about topics before I go to medical school that will eventually help me be a better doctor.”

Bridget is so focused on what she wants to do for a living, she’s not waiting for a degree to get started. She’s actually been doing it for years, starting back in high school. She has worked with developmentally disabled kids at Aspire of Western New York, Summit Educational Resources and SABAH (Skating Athletes Bold at Heart), where she uses her skills as a competitive figure skater to help teach children how to ice skate.

She has filled the rest of her free time by volunteering at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital; helping put on a wellness day at a community center on Buffalo’s West Side; assisting a biology professor in researching information for a cell biology textbook; serving as an officer of the Association of Pre-Med Students at UB; and most recently, taking a 10-day backpack trip across Spain.

“The volunteer work and the figure skating, they’re kind of like a break in studying for me. There are so many cool programs in the area, and to be able to get involved with different things is nice,” Bridget said. “I guess you really have to like what you’re doing, but it also gives back a lot to me. I think it can be kind of easy in college to get caught up in ‘I have so much work to do, I have so many things going on related to myself’ that you don’t really have time to get involved in other activities. It might not initially seem like you’re getting something out of it, but it’s really rewarding to see what the kids are getting out of it.”

Last updated: August 17, 2016 3:09 pm EST