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Alumni Spotlight Helen Lin '19 | Softball

  • NAME: Helen Lin
  • CLASS OF: 2019
  • SPORT: Softball
  • POSITION: Infield
  • COACH: Years 1 & 2: Kate Refsnyder Years 3 & 4: Stephanie Hartquist
  • MAJOR/MINOR: Chemistry

Why did you choose Hamilton?

I wanted to attend a small high academic institution where I could explore and take classes outside of my major. I also wanted to be somewhere where I could major in a hard science like chemistry and still maintain a good athletic/academic balance. Also coming from Texas, I wanted to experience a fall where leaves actually changed colors. Hamilton pretty much checked off all of those boxes.

How did being a student-athlete help you in life?/What did being a student-athlete teach you?

Being a student athlete, I learned to multitask, prioritize organize task/jobs/homework which has greatly helped me as a scientist. Playing a team sport, I had to communicate all of the time whether it was during a game or coordinating a time to lift with someone. I was able to translate this skill to my job where I am constantly collaborating with postdocs and senior scientist and presenting project updates to the lab.

How did Hamilton prepare you for your future?

Hamilton gave me the research opportunities not many other colleges can give undergraduates. These experiences really give you a leg up when applying to jobs. Also because of Hamilton’s strong emphasis in communication, I tend not to be as nervous public speaking. Additionally, the faculty members at Hamilton are AMAZING. They will do everything in their power to make sure that you succeed at and after Hamilton. Knowing that I was looking for a research job, Professor Kinnel in the science department connected me with one of his previous students who is now a biotech venture capitalist and greatly helped me with the job search.

What is your most memorable sports moment(s) at Hamilton?

1. When we swept Amherst my senior year and made it to the NESCAC playoff the first time (since I’ve been at Hamilton)! 2. During spring break, getting Twistee Treat ice cream in Florida after getting a sweep that day 3. Pranking Coach Em by having Anna Rasmussen ’21 hid in a duffel bag and scare her.

What is your favorite moment(s) at Hamilton? (non-sports related)

1. During the summer of my freshman year, me and some of the other chemistry summer researchers would prank admission tours as they passed the chemistry department. (We recreated a Lion King scene with flasks and beakers, “tested gravity” and spilt liquid nitrogen and ran away. 2. Going apple picking with the team and later eating way too many apples and cider donuts.

What do you miss the most?

I miss going to Commons every night at 5:15 and meeting up with my teammates and also just walking around campus and always running into someone you know. I also really miss Opus cookies, muffins and the spicy cheesy naan.

Where are you now? (career, location, family, etc.)

I am currently working in Boston as a research associate for the Xavier lab at Massachusetts General Hospital/Broad Institute, however I am applying to chemistry/chemical biology PhD programs for Fall 2021. I am actually roommates with 2 of my old teammates Phoebe Collins ’18 and Caitlin Berritter ‘20

What advice would you give to current student-athletes?

1. Appreciate the time you have at Hamilton with all of your friends and teammates because you’ll never have the same experiences after graduation. 2. Don’t be afraid to reach out to alumni for job advice. (Even if you never overlapped with them, odds are they still want to help you.) 3. Take advantage of the random amenities Hamilton has like the squash courts and rock wall whenever you have free time.