April 19, 2016 at 11:00am

Biology grads return to Big Blue campus to talk career opportunities

Millikin Biology

Millikin University biology majors and faculty were treated to a visit from three biology graduates on Sunday, April 3. The visit was part of an alumni panel discussion as the Big Blue alums talked about their lives after graduation and how they found their career paths.

The alumni panel included Allie Berroyer '14, who is currently working on her master's in molecular and cell biology at Illinois State University; Michael Lee '05, a teacher and coach at Sangamon Valley High School; and Jessica Lindemann '11, M.D., a general surgery resident at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.

Millikin Biology"I would say that it was refreshing to come back to campus and visit with the current biology students," Berroyer says. "I remember when I went to the same event as both a freshman and a sophomore, and I never thought I would be a person that would be invited back to be a part of the alumni panel."

Allie Berroyer started her academic career at Millikin as a pre-med student and will be starting a Ph.D. program at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas in the field of molecular genetics this August.

"After Millikin I started a master's program in molecular biology at Illinois State University," Berroyer said. "I strongly feel that my love for research and my desire to pursue a Ph.D. in the biological sciences started while I was at Millikin."

Jessica Lindemann started as a nursing and clarinet major at Millikin and shifted to the pre-med track. She is now a general surgery resident.

Millikin Biology"I can honestly say that all of the science professors (biology and chemistry), and even Millikin professors outside of the sciences were all very helpful and I strongly benefited from their open door policies," Lindemann said. "I would tell any current science student to get to know their professors and utilize them as mentors because they love to help students."

Michael Lee pursued dentistry, and after taking the Dental Admission Test (DAT), he had an opportunity to work in a 4th grade class as a volunteer. That opportunity led to a change in major to biology-secondary education and he is now a high school teacher and coach.

Dr. Sam Galewsky, Millikin associate professor of biology, led the discussion on April 3. All of the alums emphasized the importance of having Millikin faculty members as mentors during their time on campus.

Millikin BiologyThe Millikin Biology Program exposes students to the broad scope and diversity of modern biology, which they can use to develop careers in the life sciences. Students can participate in research, internships and directed studies, and many gain valuable experience as biology department laboratory assistants. The biology department is housed in the Leighty-Tabor Science Center, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2002. For more information, visit millikin.edu/biology.