Why did you chose to major in biology at Reinhardt?
I’ve been interested in the outdoors and the natural world for as long as I can remember, but there were very few options for college that would allow both a textbook understanding and a natural world understanding of biology. I chose to be a biology major at Reinhardt College because of the outdoor or field-based emphasis of the program. In many programs, a student is given the knowledge of a subject within the classroom, but this knowledge is rarely seen or understood outside of the classroom. Books can grant knowledge if one decides to ready them, but being in the environment that the book is trying to describe is often more important than the actual book.
How did the professors mentor and guide you while you were at Reinhardt?
The professors served as both mentors and guides both in an academic or professional way and in a personal manner. I can name several periods during my 4 years at Reinhardt that I was in a professor’s office asking questions about either school or life. It was important to me to know that I was not just a “number” that could get lost in a system, but more of a person that was cared about at an individual level. These discussions ranged from religion, research, classes, student organization, work, and current issues.
How did your experiences at Reinhardt prepare you for graduate school?
As a whole, my experience at Reinhardt prepared me to go onto graduate school with confidence of both my own knowledge and personal ability. These two items were developed within the classroom, but they were honed during my senior independent research with Dr. Steve Powers. I was given the ability to make and fix my own mistakes, to be treated as an equal researcher, and to get a small glimpse of what graduate school would look like for me. This in itself was important in my decision to go on for a graduate degree and the relationship that I developed with Dr. Powers is still one that continues today.
What advice would you give to a freshman biology major?
My best advice to an incoming freshman or a current student at Reinhardt College, who is considering a degree in Biology, would be, “this is a program that will take dedication, a good work ethic, and perseverance to be successful at, but these are the same exact skills that will be needed to succeed in the next step of life – whether it is graduate degree or a full-time job. Challenge yourself with a program that continues to push students to their utmost potential, supports students both personally and academically, and allows for students to shine as individuals in their own interests.”