Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
"I first encountered microbiology at a science summer camp in 2008, and I immediately decided to become a scientist and pursue a Ph.D. (even though I barely knew what a Ph.D. was). There weren’t research opportunities for high school students in my hometown, but I reached out to the organizer of the camp and was fortunate to create my own. For my undergraduate degree, I attended Vanderbilt University where I worked for 3 years in a lab that studied uropathogenic Escherichia coli. In my senior year, I applied to graduate schools that my undergraduate research mentor identified as strong microbiology programs. I selected PIBS because of the program’s values and excellent student support systems. Starting grad school far from my family while grieving was incredibly challenging, but I found the support I needed here at Michigan. Currently, I’m a fourth year student in Harry Mobley’s lab studying Proteus mirabilis (also a uropathogen). I love using genetics to answer scientific questions, and I am passionate about making STEM accessible to everyone."