Describe your college search.
Since my career aspirations weren't solidified, I wanted somewhere that would give me room to explore a wide swath of interests, so I focused my search on small liberal arts colleges. Grinnell stood out to me because of its small class sizes, commitment to social justice, engaged faculty, and students with passions both in and out of class.
What advice would you give to prospective students?
Don't be shy about asking random students questions! It's the best way to find out whether the place is a match, and people are typically more than happy to answer. If they're not, that also tells you valuable information about the students there.
Have you completed an internship, MAP, or study abroad?
I had the stellar opportunity to complete a MAP over the summer. I explored the mysteries surrounding a gene involved in a bacterial response to DNA damage. I created several mutants and analyzed their phenotypes in order to help unravel the gene's function. This project let me explore an interest in genetics, hone my skills in advanced procedures, and acquire hands-on experience in real scientific research.
What activities and extracurriculars are you involved in on campus?
I am the co-managing director of the Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell, a 501(c)(3) microfinance nonprofit. We fight socioeconomic inequality by making small, low-interest loans to individuals that do not have access to traditional sources of lending, both internationally and in the local community, and so far we have lent over $50,000. The White House recently recognized us as one of five Campus Champions of Change. Until joining this organization, I had never experienced service so fulfilling, impactful, or galvanizing. Also, I enjoy service trips through Alternative Break.
What has been your favorite class?
My favorite class thus far has been Advanced Genetics. I learned an incredible amount about genetics, sure, but the real highlight of the class was its emphasis on the process of inquiry and learning to critically read scientific literature, noticing ambiguities that come with real data, and critiquing methodologies and conclusions.
What is your favorite aspect of Grinnell?
The people. I have met so many impressive, interesting and committed people – students, friends, faculty and community members.
Did you have any reservations about going to college in Iowa?
"This is odd," I thought to myself after coming home at the end of a semester. "I am bored." It was a strange sensation since the previous four months had been a whirlwind of classes, extracurricular activities, speakers, performances and social events. It's funny to think that my largest reservation about going to college in Iowa is that there wouldn't be enough to do. That couldn't have been farther from the truth.