Program: Doctoral program in biomedical science, Tulane University
How has your Hood education benefited you?
It sharpened my mind for critical thinking that I now use now quite regularly.
How did your time at Hood prepare you for the graduate school coursework?
My undergraduate coursework was almost my saving grace in terms of my preparedness going into graduate school. Although I had made a slight shift in my field of study (from chemistry to more biological/medical sciences), the undergraduate courses that had really tested me (like biochemistry) were now helping to solidify my position in the program. While fellow grad students were delving into the world of biochemistry for the first time, I had already been exposed to many of the topics and already had an established understanding of the field.
How did you find the transition?
The transition was tough, going from a casual scientist to one preparing to become a doctoral candidate involved many late nights and setbacks as I adjusted to the new learning curve. However, in time I learned to refine my study habits and data analysis, which I considered a small victory because my improved efficiency indicated positive change.
What were your extracurricular experiences?
While I cannot say that being on the lacrosse or cross country team at Hood has directly benefited me while at Tulane, I know that some of the leadership skills I learned and the camaraderie I developed with my teammates helps me to function better on a daily basis, whether interacting with lab partners or the students I teach.
Did you decide your major right away?
I pretty much knew I wanted to study chemistry when I was only in high school. So I'm kind of an exception in that my first semester I was taking classes for my major. However, my first introduction to biochemistry caused me to change my declaration to biochemistry. A small change, but important nonetheless.
What is your favorite memory of Hood?
I won $200 at trivia. Not much I know, but my team and I were elated.
Who were your mentors at Hood?
Professor Dana Lawrence. She groomed me for graduate school once I realized I didn't want to stop learning just yet.
What is your opinion on the value of a Hood education?
Although we are a liberal arts school, the science and math departments are too quickly underrated. We are in the premier hotbed of government-funded research, which gives many Hood students opportunities about which other schools could only dream. Also, Hood's small class sizes allow students to actually practice lab techniques as opposed to just viewing a single classmate out of 100 demonstrate the technique.
What is your opinion on the value of a liberal arts education?
No one wants to be one dimensional. At a school like Hood I was educated in literature and sociology as well as science. It's a win-win situation for any student who wants to take advantage of the opportunity.
What would you say to students applying to Hood?
Hood is growing and it is a great feeling to be able to grow with your school. It's not like some colonial era school where there is a resolute tribute paid to days of yore. These are Hood's formative years, so if you want to come back in 25 years and see permanent marks in which you had a hand, you should get on board.
What role has your Hood education played in your career?
My interaction with all of my closest professors in the science department convinced me that if I ever wanted to understand and love science the way they did, I would need to further my education so I could be in their position one day.
Why did you choose to attend Hood College?
It was all very serendipitous. I had been waitlisted three times at my top school so I was planning on going to Virginia Tech. My dad said he wasn't going to pay out of state tuition when the University of Maryland was an hour away. Then I got an offer from Hood to play sports along with some scholarship money as well, so I just kind of made a rash decision that turned out great.