Recent Graduate Marvin Paguio Finds Honors Curriculum is a Stepping Stone to Interdisciplinary Study in Medicine

Honors alumnus Marvin Paguio (‘20) recently graduated with a major in Human Biology and a minor in Medical Humanities, receiving Excellence in Biological Sciences for his dedication to research. He was also honored for his academic success: he was selected for the University of California, Irvine Alumni Association Chancellor’s Award of Distinction as well as the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honors society. 

Marvin applied to the Campuswide Honors Collegium in his freshman year, having discovered this opportunity through the recommendation of his peers and his Humanities Core instructor. He was selected as a CHC Ambassador his junior year, and represented Honors to prospective students and their families, as well as community members and donors. Marvin shares his thoughts on why he chose Honors: “I was drawn to the opportunity to learn and grow with a diverse and driven community of students and faculty, as well as individualized academic advising.” Marvin believed that joining the CHC was a stepping stone to pursuing interdisciplinary research and exploring his academic interests.

During his time as an undergraduate, Marvin was involved in the honors community in numerous ways, beginning with taking one of the honors curricular tracks called Sustainable Societies, which allowed him to learn from and network with professors in sustainability research. Through the six-course Sustainable Societies sequence, Marvin discovered his newfound interest in how medical and social structures can collaborate to promote human health and wellness. “Sustainable Societies expanded my understanding of the world and healthcare. It was one of my favorite courses! The CHC pushed me to think outside of my major and understand how to communicate my scientific background across different audiences.” 

While a student in Honors, Marvin made a point of giving back, assisting younger students as a Honors Humanities Core Peer Tutor and Sustainable Societies Learning Assistant. He himself benefited from the guidance of others, specifically Honors alumni mentors, who gave him advice on careers in the medical field and academia, two of Marvin’s areas of interest. Marvin shared his thoughts about Honors alumni mentorship: “It truly feels like a cycle of giving and learning. The CHC provides that community of learning, offering its students many ways to support others at different stages of their journeys.”

Marvin highly recommends the Campuswide Honors Collegium to students interested in joining. “I fully encourage students to consider what they want to get out of their undergraduate journeys. If you are looking for a curriculum that pushes you to think beyond your major as well as a community that will support your intellectual and professional growth, the CHC could offer that!” 

Marvin is currently in the process of applying broadly to medical degree programs with graduate research in Public Health, Medical Anthropology, or Medical Humanities. He is also completing his auto-ethnographic film that will be submitted for the 2021 Health Humanities Consortium International Conference at the Penn State College of Medicine.

Contributed by Angie Sarabia