Eric Koch may be slightly exaggerating when he says he "took advantage of every opportunity" the University at Albany has to offer, but he was involved in everything from researching zebra fish in the laboratory to responding to medical emergencies. Koch says he found "unbelievable" opportunities for leadership, learning and service.
His work in the lab of John Schmidt, professor of biological sciences, was one such opportunity.
With Schmidt's guidance, Koch conducted research into the neurobiological development of the zebra fish, specifically that of the brain and eye. He quickly impressed his mentor.
"Eric has a quiet confidence and is good at showing others how to do things," said Schmidt. "I have never had a student who learned as fast or made himself so valuable to my research." At Schmidt's request, Koch went on to train other undergraduates in the lab.
Koch joined Five Quad as a freshman, and held several positions, including president. His service earned him the Five Quad Award for dedication to the organization, and, he said, further fostered his development as a leader.
At UAlbany, Koch found invaluable preparation for his career goal as an emergency medical physician.
"I didn't know what to expect from college, but I'm so happy I came here. It was unbelievable to be able to take so much from the University, from academics to leadership and research opportunities," he said.