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Biology Major Jobs and Graduate School Acceptances 2021

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Katelyn Keefer

Majors: biology, biochemistry & molecular biology
Hometown: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Graduate School: Ohio State University
Field of study: veterinary medicine

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?

Dickinson has assisted me in completing my course requirements for vet school and enabled me to get very broad vet experiences.

What are you most anticipating about your career or post-graduate pursuits?

I am excited to start vet school, as I have been working hard to achieve this goal.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

My time at Dickinson was full of growth. All the experiences I gained while at Dickinson will help me in the future. A few defining moments would be the vet experiences I gained through Dickinson, the research symposium and the professors I had.

Internship Experience

I interned at the Carlisle Small Animal Veterinary Clinic in Carlisle, Pa. I was the animal care specialist and was responsible for assisting the doctors and the vet technicians. I also worked the reception desk.

Abigail Brickler

Major: biology
Hometown: Andreas, Pennsylvania
Graduate School: Drexel University
Field of study: doctorate in physical therapy

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?

As someone entering a healthcare field, Dickinson's liberal-arts education has helped me build an incredible foundation in what it means to see and treat the holistic person. Participating in the health studies certificate program and taking classes in departments like philosophy, sociology, and anthropology have opened my eyes to the fact that healthcare is not just about the physical science. I have learned to understand patients as people—not simply as the physical ailments for which they seek treatment. Dickinson's pairing of science with humanities has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be a well-rounded individual, one who stays curious and continues to ask questions. I am confident that I will be a stronger healthcare provider because of the education I received at Dickinson.

What are you most anticipating about your career or post-graduate pursuits?

Essentially, I am most looking forward to joining a field that is dedicated to the improvement of people's lives. Physical therapy affords the chance to make connections with patients, to work with them as a team to reach a common goal. So much of how we understand ourselves as people relates to how we move through the world, and I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to pursue this career and help people on their rehabilitation journeys. There is so much to learn about the human body, about injuries and rehab, and I am excited to expand my knowledge in that way.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

The most defining moments at Dickinson for me are the seemingly everyday occurrences that turned into experiences I will never forget. As a first-year, I attended a festival at the College Farm, trying a grass-fed beef burger for the first time and dancing in the barn. As a sophomore, I held my face in a tub of ice water as part of a lab experiment in Professor of Biology Chuck Zwemer's Intro to Physiology class. I've attended presentations by really cool people doing really cool things more times than I can count. I've concocted questionable substances in Organic Chemistry. I've dissected a shark. I've written papers on topics I had never even considered before. I've learned what invasive vegetation to look for as I drive down the highway. I've learned to adapt to a totally different learning environment than I ever expected to find myself in. One might not think of these as "defining moments," but they have shaped who I am as a student and are woven together to form my Dickinson experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Internship Experience

During the summer of 2019, I spent a month in NYC participating in the Health Career Opportunity Program through NYU Langone Health. I spent most of my time shadowing physical therapists on a cardiopulmonary and medically complex rehabilitation floor. I was also able to take part in lectures, along with other students in the program, that spanned a range of topics, focusing mostly on the various rehabilitation-related occupations throughout the hospital network. I really learned what it means to provide care during this experience, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity.

Claudia Maira

Major: biology
Hometown: Milton, Georgia
Graduate School: Augusta University
Field of study: physician assistant

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?

Dickinson has prepared me for life after graduation by providing me with experiences and programs that have taught me the value of teamwork, leadership and hard work.

What are you most anticipating about your career or post-graduate pursuits?

I am looking forward to attending graduate school and receiving my master's in the physician assistant program.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

A defining moment of my Dickinson experience has been meeting my lifelong best friends. I am very grateful that Dickinson has brought these people into my life. Another defining moment of my Dickinson experience has been playing on the women’s basketball team (DCWB). Although my senior season was cancelled due to COVID, being a part of that team has taught me so many skills that have prepared me for beyond graduation. I am so blessed to have been a part of such an amazing team. DCWB will always be my family.

Internship Experience

I shadowed a physician assistant at the ENT Institute in Marietta, Ga. to gain a better understanding about a physician assistant’s role and to see their everyday routine/skills.

Lili Veith

Major: biology
Hometown: Vésenaz, Switzerland
Graduate School: Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
Field of study: MSN Entry into Nursing Program

Master's Program Description

I will complete five semesters at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in order to receive my MSN, and then I will take my NCLEX to become a registered nurse.

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?

The school has taught me how to be a well-rounded student and the professors and faculty helped me apply to nursing programs.

What are you most anticipating about your career or post-graduate pursuits?

I anticipate a lot of work as it is an accelerated program, but that I will really enjoy it and find my calling.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

Lots of my defining moments are linked to the friends I’ve made here, but study abroad, springtime on campus, studying in rector, labs and field trips will always be memorable.

Valerie Kuppek

Major: biology
Hometown: Pennington, New Jersey
Employer: Illinois Natural History Survey
Job title: aquatic field technician

Job Responsibilities

Conducting applied research in aquatic ecology and fish biology within the state of Illinois. Specific duties involve assisting large river ecologists in the collection of standardized long-term river monitoring data, in addition to collection of additional targeted data.

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?

Dickinson has prepared me to not just take on life after graduation confidently, but has also given me the ability to problem-solve through difficult situations. From the rigorous coursework, research experiences and internships that I’ve partaken in during my time at Dickinson, I feel that I am equipped to work through challenging situations in both my personal and professional life.

What are you most anticipating about your career or post-graduate pursuits?

I'm very much looking forward to working in the field and being outside every day! When looking at post-graduate pursuits long-term, I hope to have a career that allows me to expand upon the fieldwork skills that I have acquired during my time at Dickinson.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

A defining moment from my Dickinson experience was my time working at the Center for Sustainability Education (CSE), where I was able to fully explore my interest in sustainability and develop enhanced communication and time management skills. Additionally, my senior research assistantship position with Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Maggie Douglas in the Department of Environmental Studies has helped me gain foundational skills for a potential career in entomology. Another defining moment from my college experience at Dickinson was my time studying abroad in Peru with The School for Field Studies (SFS), which helped me apply both scientific and interdisciplinary skills in an intense tropical environment – an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything!

Internship Experience

Research intern with the Pennsylvania Firefly Festival 501 (c)3 non-profit organization (PAFF). Located in Kellettville, Pa., within the Allegheny National Forest. Duties encompassed firefly monitoring, field data collection, chemical sampling of freshwater creeks, creation of environmental education resources, participating in community education events and production of a 43-page habitat ecology report on the firefly species of the ANF. Related skills include microscopy, insect identification, independently navigating forest habitat during daylight and nighttime hours, frequent independent traveling and use of binoculars.

Lizzie Trost

Majors: chemistry, biology
Hometown: Grosse Pointe Park
Graduate School: Cornell University
Field of study: plant pathology and plant-microbe biology

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?

Dickinson prepared me for life after graduation in a myriad of ways, but especially by equipping me with strong communication skills. As an aspiring research scientist, communicating my work to peers and the general public (verbally and written) is essential, and I believe Dickinson's liberal arts curriculum lends itself to enforcing these skills.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

The most defining moments of my Dickinson experience were doing research with Associate Professor of Chemistry Rebecca Connor (Spring 2018-present), and initiating the Biology Peer Mentorship program as a part of the Biology Majors Committee in Spring 2019. Both were incredibly enjoyable and rewarding experiences and helped me determine that I wanted to pursue a career in academia.

Internship Experience

  • Biochemistry research with Dr. Rebecca Connor, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., Summer 2018 - Project title: Characterization of Heat Shock Protein 70.
  • Plant pathology research in Cornell's Plant Genomics REU program, with Dr. Gregory Martin, The Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, N.Y., Summer 2019 - Project Title: Characterization of tomato lines with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutations in plant immunity. 

Amanda Parker

Major: biology
Hometown: Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Employer: Merck
Job title: quality Insurance

Jordan Haber

Majors: biology, environmental science
Hometown: Short Hills, New Jersey
Employer: New Jersey Forest Service
Job title: forest pathologist

Job Responsibilities

Protect New Jersey forests and flora from pathogens.

What are you most anticipating about your career or post-graduate pursuits?

Exploring new and different career opportunities, gaining new experiences, furthering my education, becoming self-sufficient and meeting new people along the way.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

Started Ornithology Club, had some great field experiences in lab and  was a member of Dickinson varsity tennis team

Internship Experience

  • Endangered Species Coalition (2020)-Led grassroot campaign efforts to encourage Pennsylvania state legislators to pass legislation that would establish a state-wide system of wildlife corridors. Helped raise awareness of the impacts of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity and climate through education and community-based approaches.
  • Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM)-Worked with communities within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to raise awareness of water contamination and conducted in depth water chemistry tests from samples throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • Cora Hartshorn Arboretum-Preserved the historic grounds of the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum by partaking in daily projects such as understory restoration, erosion prevention, trail maintenance, meadow restoration, and invasive species removal. Restored native plant populations via grafting, transplants, and seed stratification techniques.

Hannah Peck

Major: biology
Hometown: Baldwin, New York
Graduate School: Molloy College
Field of study: nursing

Internship Experience

I worked at Progressive Emergency Physicians which helps staff and run emergency rooms. I was a patient liaison and would call back patients discharged from several different hospitals on Long Island. I will continue to work for the company while I am enrolled in nursing school.

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Published April 9, 2021