NESCAC Friday Feature: Maya Davis - Middlebury

Maya Davis, Middlebury

The NESCAC is brimming with talented student-athletes. The "Friday Feature" series is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. The conference introduces Maya Davis of Middlebury, a molecular biology and biochemistry major, and a member of the women's basketball team.

Maya Davis, Middlebury Maya Davis, Middlebury
Senior, Women's Basketball
Dedham, Mass./Milton Academy
Major: Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Minor: Global Health

Why did you choose to attend Middlebury?
I chose to attend Middlebury primarily because of the women’s basketball team members and the coaches. When I visited, I felt like I would fit into the team very well, and I was excited about being a part of building a program. I am so happy I made this choice because I have found my people and my place at Middlebury.

Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete?
I chose to be a Division III student-athlete because of my love for basketball and my goal of having more roles than just being an athlete on campus. In Division III, we are able to have the best of all worlds – be a competitive athlete while being able to spend time in the classroom and being involved with campus organizations.

What is the best thing about being part of the NESCAC?
The best thing about being a part of the NESCAC is the people who are a part of the conference. There is a special kind of person who plays in the NESCAC, and I find that we all can be competitive on the court while maintaining friendships off the court. 

What is your dream job/career?
My dream career would be to work in maternal health as both a physician and a public health worker. Through many of the global and public health classes I’ve taken at Middlebury, I’ve learned that much of the change that needs to be done in order to combat health inequities is outside of the clinical sphere. In my job, I would be able to see patients in the clinic, while also working on the structural side to implement public health programs.

What are some service activities you participate in and how did you get involved?
I am Co-Chair of the MiddSafe Advocates group on campus. We are confidential peer advocates who run a 24/7 hotline for students who are dealing with issues of sexual misconduct, dating violence, and stalking. We are certified Vermont state crisis workers who are trained to non-judgmentally listen, support and offer a variety of resources to our peers. I got involved with MiddSafe after my sophomore year at Middlebury. I decided to apply to the group because I wanted to do my part in working to decrease the prevalence of sexual violence and support survivors in whichever way they need.

What has been your favorite class outside of your major?
My favorite class outside of my major was my First-Year Seminar on Vaccines and Disease Eradication. This class sparked my interest in global health and was one of the reasons I declared the minor.

What internships/research projects have you participated in?
Every summer while in college I have been a research assistant in different laboratories. After my first year, I worked in The Thadani Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital under the direction of Dr. Meghan Sise and researched the impact of Hepatitis C on kidney disease. After my sophomore year, I worked in The Freudenreich Lab at Tufts University under the direction of Dr. Erica Polleys and researched tri-nucleotide repeats in a yeast artificial chromosome. Last summer, I worked at the University of Massachusetts Medical School under the direction of Dr. Chad Darling and researched the efficiency of the emergency medicine physicians when they diagnosed pulmonary emboli. Each of these internships has informed me what my ideal career would look like, and I learned a lot about the gaps in the healthcare system.  

What has been the most interesting part of your major?
The most interesting part of my major is a class called Developmental Biology. In the lab portion of this class, we were able to observe sea urchin fertilization and early stages of development. This was an amazing experiment and I talked about it for weeks after. 

What advice would you give to yourself as a high school first year?
I would tell myself to take time to explore other interests. One thing I have learned at Middlebury is that it is important to be a whole person rather than being defined by one activity. Since I’ve been here, I have had a variety of experiences that have allowed me to become a better person, friend and basketball player. I don’t think I would have had the same experience if I didn’t apply myself outside of the classroom and the basketball court.

What is your favorite place on your campus and why?
My favorite place on campus is the 5th floor of Bicentennial Hall (BiHall). This is the science building and it contains an impressive window that overlooks the mountains. I love doing work in that spot because it is hard for me to get stressed when there are beautiful views in front of me.