Matthew thought he wanted to go to medical school. But after working at a Sioux City hospital and doing research with one of his professors, he realized he would rather become a college professor specializing in environmental microbiology. From over 120 applicants, he was one of 10 students chosen for a paid summer research internship at Kansas State University.
“Professors really get involved, working with students both in and out of the classroom. You can work one-on-one with a professor, researching everything from Alzheimer’s disease to molecular genetics to pathogens on chicken from the local supermarket. It’s kind of impressive what you can do here. This year I’m presenting research at Morningside and at a state conference, as well as attending a national conference in San Francisco.”
“You’re not going to get the personal attention at other schools, especially at a larger school. I know I recently asked two of my professors to write letters of recommendation for research internships, and I actually got into one. So they will push you and make you really become a great applicant for the ‘next step,’ whether it’s medical school, graduate school or an internship.”
“We have Beta Beta Beta, which is our biology honor society, and we have Chemistry Club. For Beta Beta Beta, we did a Halloween can drive, where we went out into the community and knocked on people’s doors, asked for cans of food and donated them to the Food Bank of Siouxland. For Chemistry Club, we like to go to elementary schools and show the kids some cool science. So we like to get involved in the community.”
“I’m working on a minor in studio art. I had never taken an art class. I just wanted to try something, so I took figure drawing. I enjoyed that, so with the same professor, I took a printmaking class and did well in that. So now I’m in a ceramics class. Honestly, ceramics is one of the toughest classes I’ve ever taken. It’s challenging but so rewarding.”