Hometown: West Des Moines, Iowa
Why did you choose Iowa State University?
I still wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to major in, and Iowa State University felt like the perfect place to explore all of my interests!
How did you become interested in your major?
My first semester, I took a few different introductory courses, and Biology was the one that 'clicked' the most. I fell in love with the content, and there were so many unique avenues to explore in the field.
What are your current goals following graduation?
I was recently accepted to the Iowa State University graduate program in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology! I love the lab I'm working in, and I can't wait to continue my studies.
Internship experiences: It wasn't an internship, but I took the Biology 499 course, which is undergraduate research experience. I emailed the professor of one of my favorite courses, and I was able to work with him in his lab, help with experiments, and get a better understanding of what working in a lab is like!
Research experiences: I work with Dr. Clyde Campbell, who is researching hematopoiesis (blood development) and stem cells in zebrafish. I most enjoyed meeting the graduate students in the lab, getting to help with various experiments, and see how the lab is run!
What are a few things you love about your major and department?
I love the community here! The students and the faculty are passionate about their work, and there are so many opportunities to get involved!
How would you fill in the blank for high school students interested in your field?
“You’re going to love studying the sciences at Iowa State because ….”
There are so many exciting ways to learn about Biology at Iowa State! Beyond the regular coursework and labs, there are plenty of research opportunities and clubs to explore!
Do you have an example of how a professor or staff member has supported you at Iowa State?
I think the person on campus who helped me find my way the most was Autumn Cartagena, my advisor when I was still in the 'open option' major. She was extremely helpful when I was struggling with choosing what I wanted to study. Even when she was no longer my assigned advisor, I frequently reached out to her, and she was always happy to help me in any way she could!
I think I've grown as a person at Iowa State by being able to take extra courses that weren't related to Biology, in addition to my major's requirements. While Biology is absolutely my passion, taking classes that focused on writing skills, philosophy, religion, and communication have all helped me evolve, and at times, has made me grow as a biologist.