Brandywine Alumni Spotlight: Meltem Ozdemir, class of 2022

Meltem Ozdemir

Meltem Ozdemir graduated from Penn State in 2022 with a degree in biology. 

Credit: Meltem Ozdemir

MEDIA, Pa. — Penn State alumna Meltem Ozdemir, class of 2022, is flourishing in her pharmacy doctoral program and as a youth head soccer coach two years post-graduation.

Ozdemir began her Penn State journey at Brandywine in 2018, majoring in biology with a vertebrae physiology option. She said she chose to attend Brandywine so she could get a Penn State education at a small campus and continue her soccer career.

“I chose to attend Penn State Brandywine because I knew I would be able to get that Penn State education without having to go too far from home and at a smaller campus,” she said. “I also wanted to be able to continue my soccer career, and Brandywine allowed me to do that.”

Ozdemir was very involved during her time at Brandywine, as she was a defender and midfielder on the women’s soccer team. She recalls her time on the soccer team being her favorite memory of her college career, more specifically, winning her first Penn State University Athletic Conference championship and playing in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship game her first year.

“Even though we lost 2-1 in the USCAA National Championship, it was still a surreal experience getting to play as a first-year student,” she said.

While playing soccer for Brandywine, Ozdemir was a two-time team captain, a two-time First Team All-PSUAC player, earned the PSUAC All-Academic Team award, and received the John Fritz Sportsmanship Award and an All-American honorable mention.

Upon graduating from Brandywine, Ozdemir became an assistant coach for her former team in fall 2022 and also started to pursue a doctor of pharmacy degree at Temple University, which she will complete in 2026. Currently, she serves as a pharmacy intern at Walgreens.

“I always knew I wanted to work in health care, so that’s why I chose the vertebrae physiology option at Brandywine,” she said.

“I’ve always been a person who likes to help others. In 2018, my brother was diagnosed with epilepsy. Going through the process of trying different medications made me realize that different medications work for some people but not for everyone else. It made me curious as to how medications work and why they work differently, so that’s why I chose to pursue a career in pharmacy.”

In addition, Ozdemir became the head coach for the Under 9 C girls’ team at the Lower Merion Soccer Club in April.

“Soccer is one of my passions. I always knew, even if I didn’t continue to play, that I wanted to at least be an assistant coach,” she said. “As a coach, I really enjoy working with all types of players and using my soccer knowledge and the players’ soccer knowledge to build and shape them into great players.”

College isn’t just about getting a degree; it’s also about the experiences, friendships and personal growth that shape you into the person you’re meant to be.

—Meltem Ozdemir , class of 2022

When asked what advice she has for current Penn State students, Ozdemir said it’s important for them to cherish every moment and make the most of their time in college.

“College isn’t just about getting a degree; it’s also about the experiences, friendships and personal growth that shape you into the person you’re meant to be,” she said. “Just make sure you balance your college life by prioritizing your tasks, taking care of yourself, utilizing the resources Brandywine offers, staying organized, but also making time to relax and reflect on what works best for you.

“Make sure you cherish every moment and make the most out of your time at Brandywine because before you know it, you’ll be a proud Penn State alum.”