Senior spotlight: Sydney Reynolds (chemistry & biology)

Sydney_ReynoldsSydney Reynolds will graduate in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. Learn about her experiences at UIndy over the last four years:

Q: What are your plans following graduation?

A: I will be going to Ohio State University in the fall for pharmacy school. It is a four-year doctorate program.

Q: How did your program prepare you for the next steps in your professional life? 

A: The chemistry department at UIndy has prepared me for the next steps in my professional life not only in my coursework but also with research opportunities and making connections.

Q: What activities were you involved with during your time at UIndy? 

A: I am the president of Sigma Zeta, an honors society for science and math. For two years, I was on the executive board of the Honors Student Association. I am also a resident assistant in Greyhound Village apartments. I am in the Honors College and have been involved in research for the chemistry department since my freshman year. I just finished my honors manuscript and presented my research at Scholars Showcase on April 12th. I have been a lab assistant for the chemistry department as well. These experiences have helped me build so many great connections, especially with the chemistry faculty. The chemistry department at UIndy is amazing, and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

Q: Did you have any faculty mentors? 

A: Yes! The two main faculty mentors that I have had throughout my time at UIndy are Dr. Ann Cutler and Dr. Katherine Stickney. They have helped me immensely with not only chemistry but also with letters of recommendation and professional development. I do not know what I would have done without their support and encouragement.

Q: Final thoughts about UIndy as you prepare for graduation?

A: UIndy was the best decision I have ever made. I am sad to leave, but I know I am moving on to bigger things.

Roche Academy at the University of Indianapolis announces first cohort

Roche_Mobile500The University of Indianapolis and Roche Diagnostics, the world leader in in vitro diagnostics, are partnering to solve the talent pipeline for biomedical equipment technicians. The first Roche Academy cohort brings together eight students from Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky who will begin the program in the 2019-20 academic year. Established in 2018, the program is an innovative partnership that provides real-world training for biology and chemistry majors to create industry-ready graduates for high-demand positions with Roche Diagnostics.

The Roche Academy offers a customized curriculum and summer internship experience focused on the hands-on life science and engineering skills necessary to succeed in a career with Roche. Students will receive training and skill-building opportunities, professional development, an internship and a full-time position at Roche upon successful completion of the program. Graduates will serve a critical need to Roche’s operations as they maintain lab equipment and provide customer service across the United States.

“The Roche Academy is critical to our business. These career-ready graduates will not only bring fresh ideas to our organization but will also be mentored by tenured Roche employees to supplement our workforce with highly-skilled talent,” explained Russ Fellows, Roche Academy project leader.

Debra Feakes, dean of the Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences, said the model sets a new standard for university partnerships with industry leaders to onboard fully trained employees.

“Roche has been a fantastic collaborative partner as University of Indianapolis faculty identified a curriculum that will position students to excel in the classroom and in the field. The University is thrilled to offer students this unique opportunity to develop a career path and apply new skills in a professional setting with built-in mentorship,” said Debra Feakes, dean of the Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences.

The first cohort of students will complete a paid internship at Roche the summer of 2019 before gaining full employment at Roche in 2020. The Academy is expected to produce up top 20 biomedical equipment technicians for Roche annually.

The first cohort includes:

Brad Moon ’20 (biology major, chemistry minor); East Moline, Ill.
Megan Briley ’20 (chemistry); Martinsville, Ind.
Will Durchholz ’20 (chemistry); Evansville, Ind.
Michaela Heil ’20 (chemistry major, criminal justice minor); Indianapolis, Ind.
Kiley Kenekham ’20 (chemistry major, biology minor); Brownsville, Ind.
Michael “Blake” Chitwood ’20 (chemistry); Greenwood, Ind.
Jeffrey “Jack” Kuerzi ’20 (chemistry); Louisville, Kentucky
Victor Inglima ’20 (biology and chemistry dual major); Brownsburg, Ind.

December 2017 Graduation: Meet Sierra Corbin

sierracorbinSierra Corbin ’17 (biology major, chemistry minor) talks about her experience in the Ron & Laura Strain Honors College. She and co-researcher Delmar Oropeza ’17 received a research grant from the Sigma Zeta National Honor Society to conduct and present research at the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) Conference in Atlanta. Once she graduates in December, she plans to enter a physician assistant program.

Q. How did the Sigma Zeta grant assist in your research?

A. I was thankful about receiving the grant, because it paid for a lot of materials we needed to order for our project. The experience presenting at the conference was beneficial. We received feedback from judges so that we could improve our skills of presenting scientific research. It was also quite interesting to see what other students around the United States study.

Q. Could you briefly describe your research?

A. Our research analyzed the DNA of individuals that liked and disliked cilantro. Using the information and the procedure Delmar and I conducted, I wrote a laboratory procedure for undergraduate level students to use in genetics courses.

Q. How did your research experience – and Honors College in general – prepare you for the next steps in your career?

A. The research and presentation experience prepared me for learning how to explain to others who may not have as much knowledge about a particular topic, what is happening in a given situation. When I become a physician assistant, I am sure I will need to explain to patients what an illness may be, what caused it and how to treat it. If I do not end up going to graduate school to become physician assistant, I probably will go into research of some kind. Completing undergraduate research allowed me to become familiarized with the equipment and techniques I would need in my future.

Q. Were you involved in any extracurricular activities as a student?

A. I participated in UIndy for Riley and worked off campus, which took up a lot of my free time. Learning the skill of time management was essential and helped me become well rounded. Working also helped me get many of the clinical hours that physician assistant programs require.

Q. Were there any faculty, staff or fellow students who helped you during your time as a student?

A. Dr. [Sandy] Davis (biology) helped me tremendously through this project. She helped me in learning an abundance of knowledge about genetics. Also, Dr. [Marc] Milne (biology) was an awesome mentor and professor my freshman year, encouraging me to follow the biology route I had set for myself. Dr. [Kathy] Stickney was another professor who genuinely cared about her students performance and would go above and beyond for her students. I will never forget when she stayed at school until 2:00 a.m. helping students edit a paper and learn material.

Q. Would you recommend UIndy to prospective high school students?

A. UIndy is an awesome school, and is much better than some bigger schools in professor-student ratios. I have a few friends at large universities who cannot get appropriate help when they are struggling in a class. At UIndy, the teachers genuinely care about our academic success. Some of our courses definitely are harder than they would be at other schools, but that makes us more prepared.

 

Read about other 2017 December graduates.

Learn about 2017 December graduation