McArdle Blog ~ 03/05/2015

Q&A

 

It’s time for the annual “Welcome New Cancer Biology Students” blog where we introduce you to the newest members of the Cancer Biology graduate program! Please join us in welcoming Caitlin, Dalton, Tamara, and Jordan, and wishing them an enjoyable and prosperous graduate career here at UW!

 

Caitlin Brownell

Caitlin BrownellUndergraduate institution: Saint Louis University

Undergraduate major: Molecular Biology

Why did you choose Cancer Biology as a graduate major?  I took a class in cancer biology and loved it.

Are you interested in joining a virology lab or not? No

Where are you originally from? Oconomowoc, WI

How do you like Wisconsin so far? It’s really nice being back at home.
 
What is your favorite thing about Wisconsin? Being close to family, and all of the good food :)
 
What is your least favorite thing about Wisconsin? Cold!

What are some of your favorite activities outside of the lab? I like to hang out with friends and cook.

What is the biggest difference you have felt between undergraduate and graduate school (academic rigor, lifestyle, etc)? The shift in focus from classes to lab.

What labs have you rotated in so far? And if you have chosen a lab, which one is it?
Weaver, Kalejta, Sugden, and Friesen. I have chosen the Friesen lab.

 

Dalton McLean

Dalton McLeanUndergraduate institution: Cornell University

Undergraduate major: Animal Science

Why did you choose Cancer Biology as a graduate major?  I spent my undergraduate research career in a Breast Cancer Lab, and during my time there I developed a particular liking towards this type of research.

Are you interested in joining a virology lab or not? No.

Where are you originally from? I am originally from Colorado, but also lived in North Carolina and New York.

How do you like Wisconsin so far? I love it!

What is your favorite thing about Wisconsin? I like how easy it is to get around town, but also all the amazing food!

What is your least favorite thing about Wisconsin? Alternate side parking in the winter.

What are some of your favorite activities outside of the lab? Bar trivia with friends, watching movies, trying new restaurants and activities around Madison.

What is the biggest difference you have felt between undergraduate and graduate school (academic rigor, lifestyle, etc)? I have a lot more time to focus on my research, and at the same time the ability to plan my schedule more freely allows me to focus on things outside of academics more as well. Class rigor also has not been as tough as undergraduate.

What labs have you rotated in so far? And if you have chosen a lab, which one is it?
I chose to join the Ricke lab, but also rotated in the Sugden and Halberg labs.

 

Tamara Rodems

Undergraduate institution: San Diego State University

Undergraduate major: Cellular and Molecular Biology

Why did you choose Cancer Biology as a graduate major?  Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way so to be able to help expand the field of cancer research would be very rewarding. Also, cancer is biologically a really fascinating disease. 

Are you interested in joining a virology lab or not? No, my interests lie more in cancers caused by environmental and/or genetic changes and translational/therapeutic research.

Where are you originally from? I was born here in Madison, but grew up in San Diego, California.

How do you like Wisconsin so far? Madison is definitely a great town to live in and it’s been a lot of fun.

What is your favorite thing about Wisconsin? The lakes and how green everything is when it isn’t winter.

What is your least favorite thing about Wisconsin? There is much less sunshine than San Diego.

What are some of your favorite activities outside of the lab? Reading, hanging out with friends, and playing with my dog.

What is the biggest difference you have felt between undergraduate and graduate school (academic rigor, lifestyle, etc)? Having fewer classes has been really great.

What labs have you rotated in so far? And if you have chosen a lab, which one is it? I rotated in the Wheeler, Halberg, and Weaver labs and joined the Wheeler lab in December.

 

Jordan Vellky

Jordan VellkyUndergraduate institution: University of Dayton

Undergraduate major: Biology

Why did you choose Cancer Biology as a graduate major? I worked in a genetics lab for three years in undergrad, and found out that I really like doing research. I have also always been interested in understanding cancer, so it seemed like a good fit.

Are you interested in joining a virology lab or not? I am more interested in the genetic causes of cancer, so the virology labs would not necessarily be for me.

Where are you originally from? Dublin, OH

How do you like Wisconsin so far? I like it a lot!

What is your favorite thing about Wisconsin? I love going to a Big Ten school, and the friendly atmosphere is great.

What is your least favorite thing about Wisconsin? My segregated fees and the one-way streets.

What are some of your favorite activities outside of the lab? I like going to the football games, to happy hours with other people in the lab, and I also go spinning at the gym.

What is the biggest difference you have felt between undergraduate and graduate school (academic rigor, lifestyle, etc)? In undergrad, I spent more time in class than in the lab, so it’s nice to have a reversed schedule.

What labs have you rotated in so far? And if you have chosen a lab, which one is it? I rotated with Dr. Wheeler, Dr. Weaver, and Dr. Ricke, and have committed to the Ricke lab.

~Emily Chin and Saja Fakhraldeen