MCS Alumni » Colleen McDermott MCS '06

Colleen McDermott MCS '06

Science, language arts, fine arts, physical education, performing arts are all major focal points of the curriculum at MCS. Colleen McDermott (MCS ’06) credits the culture of The Madeleine Choir School for her ability to achieve high academic success while excelling in all of these disciplines.


Since graduating from MCS McDermott has gone on to receive dual degrees from Johns Hopkins University; earning her Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology and her Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars, with Departmental Honors. With plans to apply for medical school McDermott’s multi-faceted talents also extend into the performing and visual arts, as a four-year member of the JHU Lady Birds dance team, as well as an accomplished painter.


“We had to keep up with school work even with the daily choir demands,” recalls McDermott. “One week we had to sing at five funerals and a wedding. The Choir School was one of the only places where kids under the age of 13 had so much expected of us.”


Having spent the past year researching pancreatic cancer at JHU McDermott is now mapping out her plans to apply to medical school as she pursues her Masters of Science in Physiology at Georgetown University.


McDermott is building a strong foundation in physiology and health sciences in her masters program. “It will make me a stronger applicant and make the coursework in medical school easier and allow me to have time to continue doing research or potentially getting a dual MD-MPH while I'm a medical student.”


“This attitude of figuring out a way to handle it all served me so well as an adult,” says McDermott as she described one of the most challenging weeks of her life during her senior year in college involving two finals, her senior design project deadline (which involved doing minor surgery on 19 zebrafish), the JHU Health Professional Committee Application deadline (to receive permission to apply for medical school as a candidate from Johns Hopkins), her lab team defending a dissertation, and her dance team’s spring showcase.


“The only way I survived that week was by having to step up to the plate like I have since fourth grade, and having the tremendous flexibility that MCS taught me.”