- Hometown: Whitefish Bay, WI
- Major: Cell Biology
I initially wanted to be close to the mountains because there aren’t any in Wisconsin. Then I found out WWU had a good biology program. Then I found out about the opportunities available at Fairhaven College (designing my own major, and later the Adventure Learning Grant).
The manner in which Dr. David Leaf taught cell biology drew me to the major and helped me realize how much I like the subject. Also, Niall O Murchu from Fairhaven College has helped me through my years with advice, looking at my resumé, and writing letters of recommendation for me. While I only had one class with him, I consider him to be an important part of my education.
I really figured out how I need to learn something to be able to retain the information, and that alone helped me succeed in difficult biology courses. Also I realized that if I really want something and I try hard enough, I usually reach my goals. For example, applying for the Adventure Learning Grant, and now using my biology to apply for an HIV position in Africa.
Outside the Classroom
Rock climbing and alpine climbing, making West African instruments, digitizing West African pop music cassettes, listening to Motown, jazz drumming, soccer, drawing, studying Bambara (language in Mali)
A Community Celebration
Fairhaven graduation is one of my favorite memories of Western. I liked hearing summaries of all the interesting things my fellow graduates have been doing and will do, and I felt proud to have one of my professors telling an audience about what I’ve done and hope to do in the future…it’s not every day that we students get that recognition.
Life after Western
For the last few months I’ve been contacting HIV and malaria research labs in Mali, West Africa for a volunteer/funded position in a lab. I am working out details to work in Le Laboratoire de Biologie Moleculaire in Bamako, Mali, testing antibodies against HIV as well as volunteering at an HIV clinic. I translated my resumé into French to be sent to the head researcher in Mali, and now I’m studying Bambara so I can speak as little French as possible and speak the common language. Then after that, I hope to pursue a PhD in some aspect of Cell biology, but that is far into the future.