NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Earlier this fall, Michelle Teplensky was officially inducted into the North Salem Athletic Hall of Fame, along with North Salem High School alums Brian Casey and Alexia Shea.
Teplensky, a 2010 graduate, had to Skype into the ceremony because she presently lives in England to attend school at the University of Cambridge. She is in her second year of a PhD program in chemical engineering. Her work is geared towards creating drug delivery systems which effectively target and treat debilitating illnesses. The total length of her PhD program is between three to four years.
Teplensky was awarded the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship during her senior year at MIT, where she majored in chemical-biological engineering and also served as the president for MIT’s chapter of AIChE, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
In high school, Teplensky played field hockey and lacrosse. Her involvement in athletics didn’t stop when she graduated, however. As an undergraduate at MIT, she played field hockey for all four years. “There’s a great team there,” Teplensky said of the MIT team in a phone interview. Even now, at Cambridge, Teplensky still finds the time to participate in field hockey. Overseas, she says there is a slightly different attitude towards athletics than in the U.S; field hockey, soccer and rugby are all a “big deal” there, whereas more American sports like football are less popular.
Michelle expressed her gratitude for being included in this year’s Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, and thanks her family for all of their support, along with her old field hockey coach, Jennifer Frohman.
Of Frohman, Teplensky says, “She was such a wonderful influence for me, not just in an athletic context, but in a life and mentorship context.” She also mentioned her honors biology teacher, Dan Collea, as someone for whom she has the “utmost respect.”
Teplensky’s experience at large schools like MIT and the University of Cambridge have made her all the more appreciative of North Salem’s small, tight-knit community.
Reflecting back on her time at NSHS, Teplensky said, “It was nice to be able to go to a soccer game and know everyone on the team… It’s definitely a change.” Still, Teplensky is enjoying her new Cambridge home, where she has the option of visiting nearby London. She also noted that there is generally a more friendly atmosphere present in U.K. sports compared to the intense competition often found in American sports.