Jonathan Alvarez, B.A.
Class of 2013
Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it. What is great about the MSBS program is the interaction we as students are able to have. Our small classes allow us to become fully engaged in a topic or chapter that we are focusing on.
Describe your best clinical experience and why it was memorable. While working in my first lab rotation under Dr. Doug Ethell I was able to have one of those “EUREKA!” moments. I didn’t make some ground breaking discovery that was going to cure AIDS, but I did discover something within myself. It was one of those make-or-break moments. I wasn’t sure if this program was a right fit for me being that I had minimum research experience. But in this lab I really, for the first time, experienced the feeling of getting positive results after a lab experiment that was going towards legitimate research and it was AWESOME!
Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how? Dr. Manal Swairjo has been an excellent support for me. She has an open-door policy that give me the time to sit with her and discuss lecture, or even personal, issues.
Manal Swairjo, Ph.D.
Why did you choose to work at WesternU? WesternU is growing fast. It offered me a unique opportunity to participate in building a new program in a new college, while contributing to the learning and research training of young scientists. This I find most rewarding.
What aspect of the curriculum do you feel will most benefit graduates and why? The MSBS curriculum is designed to involve students in lab work starting from the first few weeks of the program. Exams are created to be learning opportunities in themselves.
What would you tell a prospective student who’s considering becoming a student at WesternU? You will receive a lot of faculty attention due to small class size and will be part of the GCBS team.
Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you liked it: One interesting aspect about our program is the laboratory rotations that we were required to participate in prior to the start of our thesis. In particular, the laboratory rotations allowed us to see, first hand, the diversity of the research that is going on within the graduate college and at WesternU. Furthermore, having the option to choose your mentor, versus being assigned a mentor, is great because you get to do research on a particular subject in which you’re interested.
Who at WesternU made you feel supported and how? All of the faculty and staff members in the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences made me feel welcomed and supported. They are willing to help students out with any problems ranging from school work to financial aid. Furthermore, the faculty and staff in the Biomedical Sciences program are extremely friendly and are checking in with the students when they can.
How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? The willingness to care and help one another out at WesternU is ingrained within the faculty, staff, and students. It is absolutely amazing to know that you can depend on nearly everyone at WesternU to help you succeed and become proficient in your profession.