Photo Credit: Gage Kircher
by CAS MarComm Thu, 08/17/2023 - 10:12

Majors: English, biological sciences
Minor: Biochemistry
Hometown: Roca, NE

Why did you select your majors and minor? Were there any events orpeople that convinced you to declare?I chose to major in English and Biology because of my interest in bothtopics. I know, it sounds like a strange combination, but to me, they fitreally well together and allow me to engage with my interests in both thehumanities and science. I enjoy reading and writing, and I also enjoylearning about scientific topics and conducting research, so studying bothcame naturally to me!Favorite courseMy favorite course I have taken during my time at UNL has been BIOS 452 FieldEpidemiology, at Cedar Point Biological Station. This course, taught by UNMCProfessor Dr. Devin Nickol, is a very hands-on and intensive learning class,also with a strong research component. I was able to learn a great deal aboutwildlife located in Nebraska, along with diseases and how they spread withinthese sample organisms. I definitely recommend Field Epidemiology and any ofthe Cedar Point Biological Station courses.Who have been some of your strongest mentors or role models here?There are a lot to choose from! I would say the most influential mentors Ihave met in my time at UNL have been Dr. Kathleen Lacey, my advisor and thebackbone of the English Department, Dr. Clay Cressler, whom I have worked foras a TA and as a student researcher, Dr. Scott Gardner, whom I have conductedresearch with, and my undergraduate thesis advisors, Dr. Ken Price and Dr.Caterina Bernardini.Do you have research experience?I have done a fair bit of research in my time at UNL. I am working on aproject in Dr. Cressler's lab that involves studying the zooplankton Daphnia,aka water fleas, and how they consume different types of algae in differentenvironments. In addition to studying Daphnia, I have also completed aresearch project involving damselflies and their parasites, specificallygregarine protozoa, as part of BIOS 487 Field Parasitology at Cedar PointBiological Station, and will be presenting that research at the RockyMountain Conference of Parasitologists.Have you had an internship or job?I have worked as a TA for several courses, LIFE 121 for both the lecture andlab, LIFE 121 at Cedar Point Biological Station, an Honors course, and thissemester I will be working as a Physiology Lab Intern TA. I highly recommendworking as a TA, I have found it to be an enriching and enjoyable experience.Did you/are you going to study abroad?I have not studied abroad, but one course BIOS 491, Marine and Beach Ecology,did involve a lot of traveling. This field course provided a lot of differentopportunities compared to most on campus courses. For this course, we drovehalfway across the country, camped out in national forests, and stayed at theUniversity of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, GA, to study marinelife in its natural setting. We got to see alligators, catch sharks, squid,crabs, see dolphins, and a great deal more. I definitely recommend it foranyone that needs Spring Break plans next year!What are you involved in on campus or in the community?I am involved as a CAS Ambassador, peer mentor, student researcher, teachingassistant, Clinic with a Heart volunteer, YMCA basketball coach, and more.What are your plans after graduation?I plan to apply to medical school next year, and work as a CNA during my gapyear, while likely also still taking classes at UNL.