Kelly Watanabe’s ’20

Impact Stories

Empowered by Science

Kelly Watanabe’s ’20 science education has prepared her to help others and achieve breakthroughs

Biophysics major Kelly Watanabe’s ’20 approach to the liberal arts at CMC was pretty simple. “I’m happiest when I keep myself busy with learning and new experiences,” she said.

A student research manager in the Roberts Environmental Center and mentor in the Murty Sunak Quantitative and Computing Lab, Watanabe was also a flautist with the Claremont Concert Orchestra, president of the Music Mania Club, and a jumper on the CMS Track and Field team.

In particular, an interdisciplinary science education has given her career options that she’s only begun to explore since graduation. While working with Accenture’s L.A. office this year, she’s been able to tap into her public health interests by consulting with local municipalities on contact tracing platforms during COVID-19. The role has been a mix of everything she learned at CMC, all with an eye on sharpening her business acumen and data strategy in the health sector.

With the goal of medical school in her future, Watanabe said she feels empowered to “truly help people” with her science background. “CMC guides students to become self-sufficient thinkers. And because the curriculum integrates so many ideas together, you can come up with breakthroughs no one has ever thought of before,” Watanabe said. “That’s what the world needs right now.”

“CMC guides students to become self-sufficient thinkers.”