Hometown: Spartanburg, SC
"Although not born in the South, I grew up mostly in the Southeastern US. For undergrad, I attended a smaller liberal arts school in Charleston, SC, and was the first person in my family to attend college. As a sophomore I joined a research lab studying tRNA biology and promptly switched my career goal of becoming a medical doctor to a career in molecular biology research. I decided to apply to Ph.D. programs in this field to be able to further my education in an affordable way, and was fortunate to be accepted to UM directly out of undergrad. The learning curve was pretty steep in the beginning, but I have successfully made it to my 5th year of grad school and have interest in pursuing teaching/mentoring and scientific outreach through my future career opportunities."