|(From left) Ellen Swogger of Miles City.; Jeremy Mitchell of Whitefish; Kristi De Vries (right) of Roundup and her advisor Tracy Dougher (Jeannine Lintner photos)||
Chemistry sounded good until the sinus infections
by Annette Trinity-Stevens and Evelyn Boswell
Erica Dobbs of Columbus. (Jeannine Lintner photos)
"I wanted to make sure this is what I wanted to do before I got a lot further in my education," said Erica Dobbs, a biotechnology major from Columbus.
Dobbs studies exotic fungi that may yield compounds beneficial in human medicine.
"My main goal would be to give back to Montana through science," Dobbs said.
Crystal Hepp of Conrad is analyzing parts of the human genome and said the experience has made her microbiology major more relevant. She hopes to become a physician's assistant but hasn't completely ruled out medical school.
"The research has helped me understand my major better and is applicable to what we're talking about in my classes," Hepp said. "It's really cool."
Jeremy Mitchell of Whitefish said he used to think of research the way some people think of watching sewing tips on TV.
But his opinion began to change after growing bacteria for a project that could lead to a remedy for people who have a certain type of staph infection. Like many students on campus, the chemical engineering major did the project through the Undergraduate Scholars Program at MSU.
"I enjoy the people that I work with, and I enjoy seeing the reason we are doing the research and where it's going and how it might be beneficial to medicine eventually," he said.
Mitchell was busy applying to medical schools last spring but said his outlook on research changed so much that he could otherwise pursue a career in it.
A career in horticulture is where Kristi De Vries thinks she's headed following an internship in Michigan gardens and an undergraduate research project at MSU aimed at developing plants specific to Montana growing conditions.
A graduate of Roundup High School, De Vries didn't know what to major in during her first semester in Bozeman. But her answer became more obvious after thinking about the huge gardens her grandmother had in eastern Montana.
"I really like to garden. It really makes me happy. How cool would it be to have a whole career in it?" she asked herself. "I love it."