Mixing it Up With Madison Mixer


Senior Madison Mixer, a biochemistry concentrator and French minor from Newton, Mass., does a bit of just about everything. While being an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for the Southern Madison County Volunteer Ambulance Corps (SOMAC) and co-vice president of Recruitment for Panhellenic Council, Mixer has also worked as a bartender at the Jug, a popular local bar, and played an active role on both the women’s club lacrosse and club field hockey teams, all the while taking a range of different classes that have greatly enriched her academic career. Her range of interests and activities are far-reaching, and she talks about them with a bright attitude and cheerful disposition. 

After being sent home early from studying abroad in France last March, she started studying for the medical college admission test (MCAT), and will apply to medical school in the 2022 admission cycle. She plans to take a gap year and is currently applying for different fellowships and lab positions. 

Over the summer, she interned at Boston Children’s Hospital and worked remotely for a rare genetic disease lab that specializes in personalized medicine. Now, she’s also helping to write a children’s book about a specific disease. 

“I don’t really have a writing background, so it’s just for fun! It’s not easy— we did start trying to make the whole thing rhyme and decided that was too much,” Mixer said with a laugh. 

She said this is one of the most intense semesters she’s had work-wise so far. She’s working in a lab for her thesis for around 10 hours a week, working part-time at another lab and still participates in SOMAC, which she has done since her first year. 

“I originally wanted to do [SOMAC] because I wanted the clinical experience and there are really not many ways to do that, but the one thing I really didn’t expect was the type of community engagement,” Mixer said. “I feel like a lot of students don’t really get the chance to interact with the whole community of people who live in the surrounding area, who live really different lives than a lot of Colgate students, so that’s been a good learning experience. It’s definitely given me a further interest in serving underserved populations.”

Mixer is also the co-vice president of Recruitment for Panhellenic Council. In that role, she helps to orchestrate the Greek Life recruitment process. This year, they had to essentially rewrite the entire process to figure out how to shift to Zoom. 

“There are a lot of problems with Greek Life and the recruiting process in general. We tried to institute some small changes that will hopefully get picked up in the coming years. I think the next steps are really focusing fundamentally on recruitment and whether Greek Life in general is right for our campus and for students. There are definitely some tough conversations to have.”

Mixer attended the “Colorism and Privilege in Greek Life” student discussion event on Zoom, and she wants these kinds of conversations to continue. 

“I think it transformed into one of the better conversations among the group that I’ve seen,” Mixer said. “Why is [Greek Life] different for us [at Colgate] and what position is it serving? I know at least some people are taking this seriously, and I hope that at least sitting in on the conversations means some people will start listening.”

Mixer engages deeply in both her extracurriculars on campus and in her classes. In addition to her science-heavy course load, Mixer loves exploring other classes, especially ones where she can learn about different parts of the world and different groups of people. 

“I took a feminist disability class that I absolutely loved that really got me thinking a lot and gave me a good foundation for abolitionist rhetoric, which is now very popular in a lot of different spaces, as well as just thinking more about how my actions affect different marginalized communities,” Mixer said. 

She’s taken classes that range from ‘Molecules That Rock Your World’, her first year Seminar, to an African Literature class this semester, even though she hadn’t taken an English class since her senior year of high school. 

“Honestly, the things that have made my Colgate experience the most vibrant are the more random classes that I thought could fit in line with my schedule and I thought ‘Hey, we’ll see!’ And they turned out being so cool.” Mixer said.

She credits her professors with making her love learning even more. 

“I’ve had so many great professors and I think a good professor can make you love learning about anything, especially if you like learning in the first place, which I definitely do,” she said. 

When asked about how she’s able to balance everything she’s involved in, she smiles and laughs. 

“Obviously this is hard to preach about now, but I try to be very, ‘When I’m on, I’m on and when I’m off, I’m off.’ I think the nature of working from home has made that almost impossible now, but every other year I would leave my room at 7:30 in the morning and then not come back until 10 at night. Now that’s obviously not possible so it’s a little bit harder, but I like everything that I’m doing and I know that all of it is making a difference somehow. I also have great friends who are really supportive which is so helpful,” she said.

Mixer said her favorite thing about Colgate is her friends. 

“[My favorite thing] always changes, but it has to be my friends, honestly. I’ve gotten so extremely lucky. Or maybe dressing up for Halloween. I’m a big costume person. It’s gotten to the point where friends from other schools will start texting me in September, but like, what do you think, that I’m going to give away all my good ideas? You can be what I was last year,” Mixer said jokingly. 

Mixer appreciates all the opportunities she’s been afforded at Colgate, finding it hard to say ‘no’ to anything that she’s offered. She takes joy in so many activities, from cooking with new vegetables every week from the local farm, to meeting new people while working as a bartender at the Jug for fun, which she jokes was primarily motivated by her last name being Mixer. 

Mixer involves herself in as much as she can, learning new things the whole way, and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.