Spotlight on Natural Sciences Alumni: Marika Osterbur

osterburName: Marika Osterbur ’11

Undergraduate Major(s): Microbiology with distinction in research, International Relations minor

Beta Pi Pledge Class: Alpha Omega

Occupation: MD/PhD student

Education (UR and additional): Undergrad- UR, Medical/ Grad School- Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Current city/state/country of residence: Bronx, NY

Current Community activities: involved in the American Medical Association, American Medical Women’s Association, on the board for the ECHO Free Clinic


Describe your involvement in the Beta Pi Chapter of Sigma Delta Tau, including any positions you held.

I went through the new member process for Sigma Delta Tau my freshman year, and loved every minute of it. I got very involved both in the chapter and in Panhell. I was the fundraising chair my first semester, Vice President through sophomore year, Vice President of Panhell, Social Chair Formals Junior year, and Ritualist senior year.

What other extra-curricular activities were you involved in while at the University?

 Outisde of being involved in the sorority and Greek life at Rochester, I did research at the medical center, was a teaching assistant for a variety of science classes, was in the Keidaean Honors Society and was involved in various hall councils.  

How has your experience as a sister of Sigma Delta Tau influenced you today?

I think that a big portion of how successful I have been in my post college career has to do with the skills I learned while being a sister of SDT. Being involved really taught me how to be on an executive council, how to work with colleagues and maintain a separation between business and friendship, which is essential in a medical career, And, I really learned how to manage my time well, which has allowed me to pursue a lot of interests while still doing well in my medical school classes. Also, conversational skills learned from doing recruitment is so valuable! I really did well in my medical school interviews thanks to the ability I learned to talk to anyone about almost anything and seem excited about what they had to say.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

Immediately after graduation, I matriculated into medical school. I decided to not take time off because I was entering an MD/PhD program, which is an 8 year program and I was anxious to get started. Looking back, I think it was the right decision for me, but I would also encourage people to take some time off to explore the world, hold a job, live in a new place, etc. I feel like I have been a student for a very long time, and it would be nice to have known something besides that.

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

I am currently a second year in the MD/PhD program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. I chose this program because I am really interested in seeing patients as well as doing basic biomedical research, and I feel that an MD/PhD program sets me up well to be successful in both aspects of my chosen career path. Rochester also exposed me to a lot of research early on in my undergraduate career and I really was influenced by this in a positive way.

Where would you like to be in five years?

I will acutally still be in school (class of 2019) in 5 years, but eventually I would like to be an OB/GYN physician working in academic medicine, teaching and doing research.