Local pre-med student up for State System award


As a student at Benton High School, Kyle Maustellar was filled was doubt. In the back of his mind, he wanted to pursue a career in medicine but was he “good enough” to be able to handle the workload. As he has found out, he is more than capable.

Maustellar came to Bloomsburg University as a speech pathology major but wasn’t confident it was for him. He was challenged by former classmates and teachers to consider the pursuit of becoming a medical doctor. Initially, he was unsure, but with support from those around him in the campus community, he changed his major to biology.

“Bloomsburg has allowed me to embrace my identity as a pre-med student,” Muasteller says. “I took ‘Be you at BU!’ to heart.”

His drive to become a physician is motivated by the care his family received as they dealt with the passing of his grandmother. Having witnessed the positive effects of healthcare professionals on hurting families, Maustellar desired to follow in the footsteps of the people who helped them through such a difficult time. He has since shadowed several doctors and volunteered at local hospitals, like Geisinger Bloomsburg.

He has met success in his pursuit of being a physician. After his hard work and inspiring essay, he is now the Bloomsburg University nominee for the Syed Ali-Zaidi Award from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which recognizes excellence in a student from the state system. The award was established by charter member Syed Ali-Zaidi to honor students who are outstanding in their studies. The statewide winner will receive $1,000.

When considering colleges, he initially wanted to move away from the area but later decided to stay close to Benton. Upon arriving at Bloomsburg University, Maustellar found the “newness” to be overwhelming and is glad he chose to stay local. With the struggles of college life, he is thankful to be able to live close to home.

Maustellar was also able to find opportunities to overcome those struggles. Along with experiencing new cultures studying abroad with the Honors College, he also mentors students with diverse backgrounds. Maustellar has not only become a member of numerous clubs and organizations, but also a leader. He currently serves as president for the Tri-Beta Biology Honors Society, service co-chair of the Pre-Medicine Club and advisory board member of the Board of Governors.

He’s previously received other awards and grants. He’s been the recipient of Undergraduate Scholarly, Research and Creative Action (URSCA), a research grant through Beta Beta Beta, and two professional experience grants. He’s also received several scholarships from the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences.

Maustellar has applied to several medical schools and hopes to hear back from several others soon. He has interviewed at Drexel, Temple, and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and has been accepted to Penn State Milton Hershey and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“I can’t imagine my road to becoming a physician at any other university,” Maustellar says. “My professors were always helpful and guided me through my years at Bloomsburg University, and I couldn’t have done without them.”