(Al) Bright and early

Dover 20-year-old graduates with degrees in psychobiology

By Mike Finney
Posted 5/21/23

DOVER — A knack for academia and a desire to learn has opened many doors for Angelica Malone.

Her most recent accomplishment, at age 20, came at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, …

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(Al) Bright and early

Dover 20-year-old graduates with degrees in psychobiology


DOVER — A knack for academia and a desire to learn has opened many doors for Angelica Malone.

Her most recent accomplishment, at age 20, came at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, where she graduated May 13 with a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology.

Prior to that, Early College High School at Delaware State University was an appropriately titled institution for her, as she finished her studies there at age 16, then attended Albright via the Warren L. Davis Scholarship — worth $135,740 over the course of four years.

She has always been ahead of her time, having started high school at just 12 years old.
Plus, she entered college with 44 credits already earned — making her a sophomore the moment she arrived.

“I did go to Albright for all four years actually because I had four years’ worth of scholarship,” she said. “So I just picked up extra minors, so I wouldn’t graduate early.”
Still, her higher education experience has been a blur.

“I guess the biggest lesson, the thing that I didn’t expect from college, was just the friends that I would make,” Ms. Malone said. “I thought that it would be basically the same as what I had been doing in high school since, at ECHS, I was already taking college classes.

“But it’s so different living there and stuff like that and sort of the community that you form, and that was just something that I never thought I was going to get.”

Sadly, back in 2020, that thought was reality for Ms. Malone and her fellow Albright students, when the COVID-19 outbreak sent the collegians home.

“It’s so crazy. It really feels shorter, and, with COVID and everything, I guess it kind of was,” she said. “I had to come home in the spring of my freshman year, and we had to come home for a while and do it all virtually. We came back (to Albright) in the fall, but it was too early, and they ended up sending us back again. It was really weird.

“By the end, things kind of went back to normal.”

Despite all the distractions, though, Ms. Malone found a way to be a leader on campus.

She tutored peers in social science and humanities, and recently presented her honors thesis on “Modern Reality: Physiological Stress Response and Optical Illusion Perception After VR Schizophrenia and Anxiety Simulations.”

Additionally, Ms. Malone served as president of Albright’s Alternative Spring Break organization, which traveled to Costa Rica this year to take part in a service project with faculty mentors — installing murals on two grade schools.

After painting, they explored the country and met with Costa Rica’s indigenous Maleku tribe, learning about traditional herbal medicine, artistic practices and culture.

“Studies have shown that children learn best in bright, colorful and visually appealing environments, making this service project a great enhancement to their quality of education,” said Ms. Malone. “My passion in life is helping others everywhere.

“I majored in a study that combines both psychology and biology, with minors including public health, to be able to use a multidisciplinary approach to world issues in medicine, science, health and psychology.”

The graduate will return to her family’s Dover home Wednesday, to celebrate her younger sister’s birthday, but she will quickly be packing her bags again. In July, she will be moving to Allentown, Pennsylvania, as she prepares to apply to medical school and take her Medical College Admission Test.

“I’m going to be working as a behavioral health technician,” said Ms. Malone. “It’s just for a while. I just want to get some job experience, earn a little bit of money and have time to take my MCAT. My degree from Albright was psychobiology — which is like psych and bio as a double major but if you just kind of mixed it into one major — so it’s just like I took half psych classes, bio classes and then chem classes.”

She added, “My goal is to be a psychiatrist, so I thought that it was a good choice.”

One can credit Sabrina Malone, Angelica’s mother, for noticing her daughter’s gifts early on.

“We could kind of tell,” Sabrina told the Delaware State News in 2019. “It helped that she has older siblings. She could always keep up with them academically and intellectually.”

Angelica hopes to one day return to Delaware to make her mark professionally.

“I ultimately want to move to Delaware to work after med school,” she said. “You know, we don’t have really a lot of health care workers in Delaware.”
Looking back, she recalls that her journey all began with a trip to the Dover Mall years ago.

“It’s funny because the only reason I went to Early College High School was because they were recruiting in the Dover Mall, and they talked my older sister into it,” she said.

“So she had already been going there, so I was like, ‘Well, I guess I’ll go to the same school that she went to.’

“I never thought that it would end up having such a ripple effect of benefits as the years and years go on. I’d definitely recommend it.”

Staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at 302-741-8230 or mfinney@iniusa.org. Follow @MikeFinneyDSN on Twitter.

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