Issue No. 14, Fall 2009, Volume 9, Number 1

Inside Out

From the Honors College to Johns Hopkins

Rudy Joly

As Rudy Joly grew up in Haiti, he had a natural inclination toward medicine and engineering. “I was fascinated by the idea of designing prosthetic devices that could replace missing limbs and function, not just as a mere replacement, but be biologically alive,” Joly said.

This interest led Rudy to major in biology when he moved to Miami and enrolled at Miami Dade College.

“I left Haiti to pursue my education, which was halted due to the political unrest that was tearing my country apart,” said Joly, who graduated from MDC with an Associate in Arts in biology and a 3.92 GPA.

While at MDC, Joly’s academic performance won him acceptance to The Honors College’s renowned Bridge program, a partnership with the University of Miami (UM) that nurtures minority students’ interest in science and encourages them to consider careers in medical research. While in the program, Joly worked on a project in the UM Miller School of Medicine’s biomolecular department analyzing biochemical processes in DNA.

“Choosing Miami Dade College was clearly one of the best decisions I ever made,” he said. “So many opportunities were presented to me and I learned from many inspirational faculty members, who helped me realize my potential.”

Joly’s future didn’t look so bright when he originally left Haiti. His father told him if he left, he’d have to support himself. He struggled to survive in Miami while attending MDC and didn’t have enough money to visit home – or his mother – for three long years. Finally, in the spring of his graduation, he made it back to Haiti. “I felt like a child again,” he said. “I rarely went out while home because all I needed was the warmth of my mother. It was the best graduation gift I could give myself.”

Joly is completing his first year at Johns Hopkins University, where his tuition was covered by an MDC Board of Trustees Award and several Hopkins grants.

Already, he’s planning his next step.

“I want to be part of the generation that improves the way patients receive care in the U.S. It’s my way of giving back to a country that has provided so much to me.”

— Barbara Bickel

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