Biological Sciences 2010 Undergraduate Student Award Presentations



Catherine Welsch Smith Research Award

Jessica Beauchamp


Elise Pellman Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Resesarch Award

While I was at Marquette, I double majored in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and History. The Biology department prepared me for my career path by presenting me with the opportunity to do independent research. My research project and my close interaction with Dr. Waring, my mentor, as well as the classes I took, were integral in preparing me for graduate school.  I had the opportunity to work independently while at the same time having an expert in the field beside me for guidance.

Presenting my research in a public forum was encouraged, which was an invaluable asset for graduate school interviews. I was given the opportunity to attend national research conferences and present my research there, exposing me to the wide variety of research being done throughout the country. Because of the education and the support I received while a student in the Biological Sciences, I am now pursuing my Ph.D. at the University of Michigan Medical School.


Physiological Science Research Award

Kristen Ruka


Tayler Sheahan Catherine Welsch Smith Research Award

My name is Kristen Ruka. I am originally from the Menomonee Falls/Germantown area of Wisconsin, and I graduated from Marquette University in May of this year with a B.S. in Physiological Sciences. My major at MU provided me with a comprehensive background in biology that taught me how to synthesize what I learned from different classes and to think critically about what I learned. The aspect of my experience in the Biological Sciences Department that I value most was the chance to work in a research laboratory as an undergraduate. I worked for a year in the lab of Dr. Edward Blumenthal on "Inhibition of tyramine signaling by cGMP in Drosophila Malpighian tubules."

I started in the lab in the 2009 Undergraduate Summer Research Program, and my experience there solidified my decision to pursue a career in biological research. It also provided me with the exciting opportunity to attend the 2010 Experimental Biology Meeting in Anaheim, CA in April where I attended talks and presented a poster on my work from the Blumenthal lab. In July, I started my first laboratory rotation in the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. I am confident that the Biological Sciences department at MU gave me the foundation I need to be successful in my classes this fall.


Biological Sciences Academic Achievement Award

Christopher Reding

Kelsey Lynch Academic Achievement Award

My time spent at Marquette was everything I could have asked for from an undergraduate institution.  For me, the Marquette experience was more than just classroom learning. I experienced a commitment to developing the whole person in which the focus was to form young adults into well rounded individuals who have the knowledge and skills to tackle whatever challenges the future may bring.

I am fortunate for the dedicated teaching staff and the close friendships that I have made during my undergraduate career. My experience was fulfilling and has helped to shape the person I am today. Now studying medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, my degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Marquette has proven invaluable. It has prepared me well for the intense training to become a physician and will continue to pay dividends as I work in this challenging and ever-changing career. I am proud to consider myself a life-long member of the Marquette family.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Research Award

Corey Nemec

Kelsey Lynch Academic Achievement Award In May of 2010, I graduated from the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I feel that the Biological Sciences Department at Marquette is superb in that the academics are both intellectually stimulating and enjoyable. Some of my favorite classes include Cell Biology, Biochemistry, and Immunology; they not only increased the breadth of my knowledge, but further established my amazement at the complexities of life.

While small class sizes were a prerequisite in my decision to attend Marquette, Marquette is not so small that laboratories are absent. In the summer of 2009, I participated in Marquette’s Summer Research Program with Dr. Stephen Munroe as my mentor. Over the past year, I have been researching how polyadenylation and alternative splicing is regulated in the thyroid hormone receptor gene. Not only have I learned many molecular approaches to biological problems, but also to critically interpret scientific literature.

I knew in high school that I wanted to work in the science field, but had not yet narrowed down my options. The work that I accomplished in Dr. Munroe’s lab was invaluable in my decision to further my education by attending UW-Madison for graduate studies in the fall of 2010. I hope to work in a lab studying protein-protein interactions or synthetic biology for my doctoral dissertation. Currently, my post-doctoral plan is to obtain a tenure track position at a university and to teach while continuing to research the intricacies of life.





Biological Sciences Department

Marquette University, Wehr Life Sciences
(Directions/campus map)
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7355