Kailyn Yudice

Why did you choose to attend the University of Miami?

Kailyn YudiceI’m actually from Miami and I’ve been here my entire life. Growing up in the city, UM is the biggest thing, like the Harvard of Miami, and I fell in love with it since I was little. Looking more into the schools, I really enjoyed the fact that it seemed very flexible and less traditional than what other schools usually do, so you don’t really have those general education requirements, and I loved the cognates system.

Why did you choose your major? What is your favorite thing about it?

I actually started off as a biology major, and I was in that major for about two years. I enjoyed my classes, but at the end of my sophomore year, they opened up the global health studies major program. I felt like I could easily transition, and that is something else I loved about the college - you are able to really switch around if you really need to, or if you feel like this isn’t the right thing. Going into it, the first class you have to take is Introduction to global health, which has been one of my favorite classes. It was with Prof. Imelda Moise, who is the director of the program. She is really fun and very passionate and knowledgeable in the global health field, so it was great because I realized that I do love global health. Overall, my classes really allowed me to see what I like, to learn more about the topics and the things going on around the world that we don’t see.

What is your favorite class you have taken at UM? / Favorite non-major related class?

One of my favorites was medical sociology. I’ve always been into social issues, and being able to learn how healthcare and different things involving medicine have to deal with social issues, and how different societies view medicine, how they practice medicine and all those kinds of things were really interesting to me. Every class was a discussion, which I really enjoyed. Being able to constantly discuss and constantly talk about how everyone views things differently added so much to class itself.

What is your favorite place to spend time on campus?

Shalala Student Center. I’m involved in many areas of campus, and a lot of it connects here, so if I’m not in class, chances are I’m here. Whether it’s being involved with Category 5 or being involved in homecoming, it’s like a second home. I also feel like this is such a great place for students to gather, get together and talk, so this is definitely the best spot on campus.

What professor has had the biggest impact during your time at UM?

Prof. Moise is someone who, before I committed to the major, she sat down and talked to me, she said “Is this really what you want to do? What do you want to do in the future?” She really laid things out for me that I wasn’t thinking about before as a sophomore. She does more than the average person does, she’s going beyond what she needs to do, and just having a professor like that to go to is really impactful. Just knowing that someone cares about you and wants to see you succeed.

What is your favorite extracurricular to be involved in?

As a commuter student, it was very hard to meet students, so I was like, I’m going to get involved and try to make an impact on my university. At the end of my freshman year, I was accepted to Category 5 as an executive board member. I was our Olympic sports chair, and that was during Covid (shutdown) but I was still able to learn a lot. Because of getting that experience, I was able to become a Commuter Assistant with the Orientation Office, which we work with orientation, and in mentoring more than 100 first-year commuter students and also putting on programs throughout the year for them. I’m also a Dean’s Ambassador for the College of Arts & Sciences, I’ve done homecoming and I’m also part of Student Government as a Chief of Staff. I do have to say that Category 5 is my favorite. I’ve done three different roles within it, and it’s like a family for me here, and I love sports and I love spirit, so that has to be my favorite.

What advice would you give to a future student?

I would say: do not be afraid to put yourself out there. I know that sounds probably very corny, and I’ve heard that a million times, but I truly mean it. I was always a shy person growing up and being able to throw myself into uncomfortable situations made me a better, more well-rounded student, and it’s made my time here a lot better.Now, looking back, I’m just like, thank God I applied for this, and went to thatinterview, and said hi to this random person, and now they’re my best friend. Get yourself out there and try to do everything you can on this campus without burning yourself out - have balance! But just try to do as much as you can and try to make the most of it.

What are your plans after graduation? How does your degree fit into your life’s plans?

I’m going to take a gap year. I think global health allows me to learn things that I wouldn’t in medical school, as most medical schools are very behind in addressing social issues and things outside of the US. Giving you that knowledge, I’m able to use that in the future, and someone else might not know those things and apply that to what I want to do. I think that will help in that way.

What is your favorite resource available to students on campus?

The Camner Center. I’m a P100 also, and I always tell the incoming students to use the Camner Center. It’s free tutoring by students who already took the courses, and as someone who already had to go through the ugly courses like organic chemistry and physics, being able to go to the Camner Center and get that one-on-one tutoring was essential for me to pass them.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UM?

I always say the diversity of the school. Our student population is just great. I also feel like we’re the perfect-sized school, every time I’m walking around, chances are I’ll see a few of my friends on their way to classes. And definitely the spirit; talking to alumni, they loved being here and they came here 30 years ago. Something is ingrained in us, where we just love being Canes, we love showing that we’re all about the U,we’re wearing our orange, green and white, the spirit is exciting.

Have you had an internship? If so, how was your experience?

I’m involved in research at the Miller Medical School with Dr. Debra Jones. We focus a lot on infectious diseases, specifically HIV. I’ll probably switch it over to more global health related areas, but in the past I would call patients, get their whole history, have them join the study and get them an appointment to get screened. That helped a lot because it was able to expose me to patients and the discussions were fun. That has been the closest thing to an internship that I’ve done here.

What has been your greatest challenge at UM?

Going through a few semesters when Covid was hitting. I was taking organic chemistry and calculus at the same time and I was in a really bad state, I felt like I was having a lot of difficulties in my classes and also in my personal life. And I think that happened to more students than we all think. I’m always someone who says that we’re all going through something, so treat other people with kindness. So that was a lot, and that was my first semester of sophomore year. Luckily, I pulled through, and junior year came around and I excelled, I hit the gas with no breaks, so don’t give up, that’s what I would say. Everything will work out at the end, it always does.

What do you like to do when you’re not in class?

I love to hang out with my family! I’m an only child with my parents here and we’re very close. I try to use the other extra little time I have to hang out with them and also with my dog.

What is your favorite spot in off campus in Miami or favorite thing to do in Miami?

I love the food - I’m a big foodie. I love going out to eat with friends and family. My favorite restaurant is a little bougee, but I don’t go often, I only go for special moments, it’s called Mandrake, it’s an Asian restaurant in Miami Beach. It is such a fun place, such a great time, great music, great vibes.