valedictorian erick schadlerErick Schadler ’18, who is from Raymond, Maine, and is a 2014 graduate of Windham High School, will deliver the Valedictorian Message during Saint Joseph’s College’s 2018 Commencement exercises on May 12.

Erick will earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. He selected biology as his area of study because he always knew that he wanted to help others by working in the medical field.

Upon receiving funding from the Maine Space Grant Consortium (an affiliate that funds research of interest to NASA through the congressionally established National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program), Erick researched infection rates of local deer ticks with Lyme disease and anaplasmosis. After collecting ticks in Raymond, he discovered that 79.2 % of the ticks carried the causative agent of Lyme disease, 30.2% of the ticks carried the causative agent of anaplasmosis, and 24.5% carried both causative agents. Maine Medical Center Research Institute provided Erick with controls for determining these rates. He said that having the opportunity to conduct independent research at Saint Joseph’s has been valuable and “has opened a lot of doors for me.” He is most interested in the intersection of science and healthcare. “The genetic testing procedure is used at all kinds of labs. It will be good for employers to see that I have this experience,” he said.

During his time at Saint Joseph’s College, Erick has worked as a biology and medical microbiology tutor through the Academic Center of Excellence, a certified nursing assistant at Gorham House, and a library assistant in the College’s Wellehan Library. In addition, he interned with occupational and physical therapists at Riding to the Top Therapeutic Center.

Erick has enjoyed engaging in many aspects of campus life through serving as the vice president of the Pre-Professional Sciences club, as a biology major representative for the Academic Senate, and as the student representative on the committee to hire biology professors at the College. Erick’s community service activities include volunteering in the surgical clinic at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, participating in two service trips to Guatemala, and volunteering for a Spring Break Workfest service trip to Kentucky. Erick achieved Dean’s List status each semester at Saint Joseph’s and was inducted into the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Honor Society, a national scholastic honor society for students, faculty, and alumni of colleges and universities with a Catholic tradition.

Erick will attend graduate school at the University of Southern Maine where he will work towards a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy.