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Taylor exists to develop servant-leaders marked with a passion to minister Christ's redemptive love. That’s why we’re sharing this series of Senior Stories. Students seeking to serve through many different fields and careers are participating in this series to tell how God has used Taylor in their lives.
Taylor's Biology Program
Whether a student plans to become a doctor, complete life-changing research, or pursue another scientific career, the Taylor Biology major program offers high-end facilities, rigorous academics, and hands-on experience to prepare students for excellence in their field. For example, although Taylor does not have a Pre-med degree, students who add our pre-med curriculum to a major like Biology (and many other majors) have a high acceptance rate into Medical School, Dentistry School, Veterinary School, and other advanced programs.
Meet three seniors graduating from the Biology program who are heading to Med School:
Name: Lindi Moore, December '19
Why did you choose Taylor and Biology as a major?
I chose Taylor because of the sense of Christian community that I experienced when I first visited. The community was evident in both the student life and the interactions with the staff and faculty. I knew that I wanted to pursue an education in Biology with a concentration in pre-medicine.
I also wanted to study abroad, but with the pre-medicine track it was going to be difficult, if not impossible, at other schools. Taylor offers the Ecuador semester abroad program that was specific to pre-medical students and allowed me to complete my practicum hours while in Ecuador. This program was a huge draw. Additionally, Taylor offers students the opportunity to become health educators and gain skills in patient/care provider relationships through the Invitation Diabetes Prevention Program.
How has your faith been affected by your Taylor experience?
My time at Taylor transformed my faith. Attending Taylor was a great experience, but it held many challenges. Being far away from my family in a new area where I knew no one and had no connections taught me to rely on God and to trust Him through the hardships. The trials that I experienced at Taylor forced me to give all control to God and to see His sovereignty in all areas of my life. I learned to experience the beauty of Christ in new ways, especially in the friendships and relationships that I built at Taylor with both peers and staff members. Attending chapel, worshiping with the rest of the community, and constantly seeing God open doors as I pursued my dreams helped me build a strong foundation in my faith that will last a lifetime.
What people have had the greatest impact on you during your time at Taylor?
There were countless people that poured into me during my time at Taylor. I developed friendships with many students that will last a lifetime and the experiences that we shared extended far beyond the classroom and the Taylor campus. With all of my family being so far away, many of my friends opened up their homes to me during breaks and holidays when I was unable to return home. Because of this, I met people that I now consider my second family.
Additionally, the professors in the Biology department invested in me personally, spiritually, and academically. They all demonstrated passion for their fields and the activities that they held for students outside of the classroom such as study sessions, roller skating, and coffee and conversation, showed that they truly cared about my personal development.
I was also deeply involved with St. Martin Community Center in Marion, Indiana where I served and prepared meals for those in need in the community alongside fellow Taylor students every Saturday. Also, the people that were part of the Ecuador study abroad program, especially my host parents and sisters, had a large impact on my life. Despite communication barriers and the challenges of adapting to a new culture, they welcomed me with hospitality, grace, and love and I was able to build lifelong relationships and become conversational in Spanish.
In what ways do you feel prepared for your future because of your Taylor experience? What are your hopes for your future career with a Biology degree?
Taylor prepared me for my future career in many ways. My goal is to become a physician and the process is rigorous. The initial step was to prepare for the standardized MCAT exam. The professors that taught all of my classes ensured that I was well equipped with the information and skills to perform well on this test. Additionally, I was adequately prepared for the medical school application and interview process through classes that taught me to think critically and communicate efficiently.
Taylor also offered countless opportunities for me to become involved in the community, to shadow physicians (both abroad and locally), to conduct research, and to gain patient care experience. All of these proved crucial in setting my application for medical school apart from the thousands of others who applied.
What advice would you give a high school student who is considering entering your major at Taylor?
For those entering the Biology pre-medicine track at Taylor, I would recommend that you take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. Some of these opportunities will push you out of your comfort zone, but do not be afraid to put yourself out there to get the most out of your time at Taylor.
Despite the rigorous schedule, be sure to take time to invest in the community, take part in the traditions, and to build relationships with those around you. This major is not easy and you have to be willing to sacrifice to make it through, as nothing will be handed to you. However, do not be afraid to turn to the professors and other students in the major for help during the challenging times, to ask questions, and to pursue excellence while always keeping in mind the reason behind your passion for pursuing medicine and science.
Name: Abigail Russell '20
Why did you choose Taylor and your major?
Every time I pass the bell tower on campus or hear the bells sound their melodies across campus, my heart reflects on those who helped bring me to Taylor University. On the tower, there is a plaque that reads “Barbara Gentile, For Whom the Bells Toll.” My physician, Dr. Gentile, and his lovely wife, Barbara, set the example of what it looks like to serve the Lord to your fullest. These two mentors of mine are both Taylor graduates: Dr. Gentile ended up delivering my three siblings and myself. His selfless servanthood had inspired me from such a young age to pursue medicine.
This passion was placed in my heart at three years old, when I was a patient myself as we were trying to find out what had caused me to become suddenly deaf. In fact, it was Dr. Gentile who told my parents that this is what it looks like when a child is called into medicine. From a young age, I began exploring this field by interviewing medical personnel, delivering puppies, studying old medical school books, and volunteering in my local hospital. Indeed, I still love medicine and still feel the calling.
What has your Taylor experience been like?
At Taylor University, professors encourage students to make their faith their own and challenge us to ask questions. I grew in my faith by learning that now is the time to ask questions ranging from evolution to controversial healthcare concerns. I felt welcomed into the Biology department. From going to our professor’s home to have cookies and cider while we prepared for our exams, to sharing my love for science as a Teacher’s Assistant, to watching a chick embryo’s heart beating, I’ve gained many precious memories.
Have any courses impacted you in particular?
In Developmental Biology, my favorite course (despite being at 8 am), I was able to compile knowledge from many courses together in order to better appreciate our Father’s creativity. Because of my desire to later become a physician for little ones, I had many moments where I was in awe of the intricately complicated process of forming a new embryo. There are countless signals that guide where our limbs end up, including how many limbs we have. In this course, we got to observe fertilization under a microscope using sea urchin eggs and sperm. We also got to experimentally test to see Hydra (tiny creatures that look like mini-octopus) undergo regeneration!
What advice would you give to a high school student considering a Biology degree?
I strongly recommend volunteering! But not for the sake of a resume, but rather, for the sake of learning how a hospital or another setting operates. My experiences in the hospital reminds me of why I love medicine and encourages me when I have long nights of studying ahead.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. In fact, the times I’ve needed to seek advice from professors have been the most beneficial for improving my skills and understanding. Taylor University has been a place where I feel comfortable going to a professor’s office to meet with them and learn. These past few years have richly deepened my love for God and passion to serve others. I’m beyond thankful for the students, family, bosses, friends, and professors who have been influenced my journey here at Taylor
Name: YeJong Yoo, '19
Why did you choose to attend Taylor and study Biology?
I came to Taylor because I wanted to be a pastor at that time and Taylor offered a Christian Education Major. Then I changed my major to Biology to go to dental school. Now I am fascinated with biological engineering and looking to pursue graduate studies in that.
What are the most important things you've learned in your major classes?
The Microbiology and Immunology course had a unique impact on me. Biology is by definition the study of living organisms. Ironically, I would work with dead organisms to study the 'living' organisms. I would dissect cats and sharks to learn anatomy or to learn physiology. In Microbiology, I worked with bacteria and it was so fun watching them grow and change. It taught me how fun it is to work with live organisms.
What people have had the greatest impact on you during your time at Taylor?
Professors of Biology had a big impact on me in their unique ways. It helped me get through tough times to have Dr. Reber and Dr. Moore recognize and encourage hard work. I decided to pursue biological engineering later in my senior year and Dr. Regier supervised my independent study so I could get started on my new pursuit. Their willingness to help and go the extra mile left a big impact on me.
What advice would you give a high school student who is considering a Biology degree at Taylor?
Biology is an exciting major and there are many different routes you can take. I would highly encourage taking the time to explore different fields of biology even if you think you have a pretty good idea of what you want to do. Do internships. Ask your professors. Talk to biologists. Read papers. Search online. Do whatever it takes. It is worth the effort. But always have fun.