Excerpted from the fall 2014 edition of the Lynchburg College Magazine.
“I finally gained enough confidence in myself to go for it,” said Desiree, who switched her major from nursing to biomedical science and graduated as the outstanding senior in her major.
Desiree also tied for first in the Student Scholar Showcase competition for the School of Sciences for her research on breast cancer with Dr. Allison Jablonski, professor of biology.
“I learned a lot about experimental design and being independent on an experiment that you weren’t told what to do,” she said.
She worked with two inhibitors that show promise for killing the most aggressive type of breast cancer cells. Desiree said she liked doing research that could help women, especially because her goal is to become an obstetrician-gynecologist.
She also liked having a female mentor. “Dr. Jablonski is probably one of my closest relationships with faculty,” Desiree said. “She’s a very successful woman. That’s something to aspire to. She’s always shown confidence in me.”
For her part, Dr. Jablonski said that Desiree has indeed gained self-confidence and consistently contributed in class. Through
her research, Desiree learned to ask insightful questions that challenged her as a professor, Dr. Jablonski said, adding, “The independent research is really one of the biggest drivers of maturation for students.”
Desiree served as a PASS Leader for general chemistry, math, nursing, anatomy, and physiology. She started and led the Pre-Med Club, which had 35 members, and was in the Student Government Association Senate for three semesters.