MS Biology Graduate Perspectives
Stephanie Waggel '09
I graduated from Chatham with my MS in biology in 2009. I am now a third-year medical student at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. I have a special interest in neurology, psychiatry, and aerospace medicine. The classes I took as a graduate student at Chatham really helped me in my first year of medical school. Being one of the few people in my class to have had gross anatomy with cadaver lab, I was quickly able to take on a leadership role. I was elected to medical student class council and I have remained ever since. Having already learned many of topics discussed in the first year of medical school allowed me to take on many extracurricular activities. My biostatistics class at Chatham helped me in my research in London last year. I developed a tool, the Aviation Laser Exposure Self-Assessment (ALESA) which aids pilots in determining if permanent injury from a laser exposure has occurred and whether professional treatment should be sought. I used some of the techniques I learned while doing research at Chatham to assess the usefulness of this tool. I am first author on the publication of this research. I am glad I learned much of what is taught in the first year of medical school before attending because it eased my workload allowing me to partake in many other activities.
Grace Wanwan Zhang '12
Chatham's MS biology program allowed me to complete some of my pre-requisite courses along with taking the core graduate science classes towards my MS degree. During my education, I received invaluable pre-health advice and the necessary steps that I needed to take in order to become a competitive applicant for dental school. I particularly enjoyed the small class size and great faculty to student ratio, which ensured me to acquire ample mentorships from my professors and advisor. My experience at Chatham was exactly what I needed to help me succeed in getting into dental school. I was accepted at my top two choices soon after I graduated, and I know that I couldn't have succeeded without Chatham's MS biology program. I encourage all pre-health career bound students to take advantage of this program.
Corinna Singleman '09
I have always been intrigued by people who used scientific knowledge to make their communities, nation and the world, a better, more informed place. One of these people, Rachel Carson, was particularly interesting because of her drive to explore the consequences of introduced chemicals on our environment, as she described in "Silent Spring". As a budding biologist, I was initially attracted to Chatham University due to its association with Rachel Carson (an undergraduate alumna). When I visited the campus, I was immediately impressed by the extent of nature that Chatham has cultivated in the center of the city. Further exploration of campus and meetings with my advisor and other faculty showed me what a close and friendly community Chatham has. Throughout my time as a student, I found that all the faculty work closely together and are always willing to help and spend time outside of class discussing any issues. Many of the courses offered in the Master's Biology Program helped to broaden my interest and experience in field and ecological studies. While I enjoyed those courses that frequently brought me outdoors, one of the best experiences I had during my time at Chatham was dissections in the cadaver lab, which added so much to my anatomical knowledge. This experience has in turn aided me in teaching Anatomy & Physiology lab courses. Currently, I am a doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center where I both teach and work on my research project. My thesis includes the study of PCB contamination in the Hudson River. It is clear to me that my studies at Chatham, including 'Chemical Analysis Lab' and 'Environmental Policy' courses, have helped provide a framework for how I think about my project through its development. Overall, I had a remarkable time at Chatham, which has impacted both my teaching and current PhD project. The positive experience provided by the faculty, through the diverse range of courses offered combined to have a positive effect on my present work. While my path has led me away from Pittsburgh, I could easily see myself returning to Chatham for more than just a visit.