Majors: Biochemistry (BS) and Biology (BA)
Hometown: Hazleton, Pennsylvania
Further degrees: Ph.D., Microbiology (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Current employer and job: Postdoctoral research fellow, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
Most enhancing experiences while at IUP: Getting hands-on scientific research experience by working with professors in the biochemistry and biology departments . . . and being in the Honors College.
About my major: The Biochemistry program was just getting started when I came to IUP. It was relatively small, and though we spent a lot of time in biology and chemistry classes, our dedicated biochem classes were usually just a few people . . . sometimes not even enough to make two sets of lab partners! This was actually really helpful, because it allowed the biochem majors to become much closer to our professors and each other than if we'd been in a larger class. It also allowed us to do more expensive, in-depth labs that wouldn't have been feasible with a larger class. My biochemistry major and research experience at IUP paved the way for me to pursue my Ph.D. in the biosciences.
HC Impact: The Honors College was many things to me, both in and out of the classroom. It was a comfortable home, a base of operations, a support network of friends, and the crucible of many late-night debates. The Core curriculum taught me not just dry facts but also what I can and cannot logically DO with those facts. I learned how to reason and not assume, how to detect bias (including my own), how to understand and learn from another's point of view even if I didn't agree, and how to apply a logical argument instead of an emotional one. When I left the Honors College I wasn't just more educated than when I entered, I was more focused, more grounded, more aware of the world around me, and more driven to make it better.