Charlie Frank, of Wyndmoor, who is majoring in biochemistry at Colby College in Maine, was one of 48 Colby students to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Membership in the society is one of the highest academic honors an undergraduate student can achieve.
Frank graduated cum laude from Chestnut Hill Academy in 2009.
“Studying biochemistry is fascinating because each day I learn that there will always be more to learn,” Frank said. “Yet, I have gained a basic understanding of how our bodies work at a molecular level, and I know that this preparation will serve me well in my medical career.”
After graduating from Colby in May, he plans to earn a medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine. Frank said he initially planned to major in biology and engineering at Colby, but after taking a chemistry course as a freshmen, he decided to change his major.
“This passion for chemistry was heightened by my energetic and enthusiastic organic chemistry professor Das Thamatoor, who brought energy, passion and a love of teaching to the classroom everyday, and my biochemistry professor Julie Millard, who challenged me more than any professor ever had, and ensured that I always rose to the occasion.”
Frank said that as a student at CH, he had the “opportunity to engage in numerous advanced science courses” that prepared him for the “rigorous course load” at college. He added that he was captain of the robotics program in his senior year, where he placed third in the world.
“This program is what really built my passion for science and critical thinking,” Frank said.
In addition to winning several awards at CHA, Frank won the Sophomore Chemistry Award at Colby. He credits his parents and teachers for encouraging him and supporting his endeavors.
He said that while there have been many influential people in his life, his grandfather, Armin Frank, and father, Jonathan Frank, have always taught him the “value of hard work, dedication, integrity and passion.”
“They have given me the guiding principles by which I live my life,” Frank said.
He added that his next-door neighbor and mentor Dr. James Studdiford helped to inspire his “passion for medicine.” From patching up his injuries as a kid to encouraging his love of science, Frank said Studdiford “has been a true role model.”
“He is exactly what you think of when you think of a stellar physician and compassionate person,” Frank said.
Recently, Frank spent two summers doing research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Later, several of his findings were published in various medical journals.
Despite his rigorous course load, he still finds time to share his knowledge and compassion. Since high school, he has worked as a volunteer firefighter at the Wyndmoor Hose Company No. 1 and has also worked as an EMT for Cheltenham Township. Currently, he volunteers as an EMT for Colby Emergency Response, where he now serves as the chief.