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Freshman Research Experience Helps Set FC Students Apart from Peers

Tyler 1Alumnus Tyler Heavin, a 2013 graduate, experienced first-hand the value of conducting research early in his academic career at Franklin College and believes it helped him secure some remarkable opportunities.

“Being able to start a research project as a freshman and see it through to my senior year definitely has helped me grow as a scientist. I’ve constantly been challenged to apply new material from class to my project, and that really has helped develop my critical-thinking abilities. I believe the early research experience is one of the things that has helped set me apart from peers at other institutions and has helped me secure some amazing opportunities.

One example is the summer I spent interning with the Gen*NY*Sis Center for Excellence in Cancer Genomics in New York; biology professor Sarah Mordan-McCombs, my research adviser, helped me apply. Through the internship I was involved in researching new breast cancer treatments, and I had the chance to use some high-tech lab equipment I’d never been exposed to before. The internship helped refine my research skills and showed me what goes on behind the scenes in a medical research lab. Since my goal is to become a doctor it was helpful to get a glimpse of the big picture and gain some understanding about the collaborative effort between researchers and physicians.

My East Coast internship was followed with a year abroad at the University of Oxford in England. Having the chance to network there with some of the world’s leading authorities in medicine was the opportunity of a lifetime. I also gained a global circle of friends since many of my peers were international students. Many of my views and beliefs were challenged by peers who were well-read, articulate and skilled at debating. I soon discovered that these intellectual showdowns were the ‘norm’ and having the opportunity to engage in them strengthened some of my views but changed others. I’m grateful to Franklin for providing me with self-confidence, critical-thinking skills and a desire to achieve more than I originally thought possible.”

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Marketing and Communications at (317) 738-8185.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential four-year undergraduate liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus located 20 minutes south of downtown Indianapolis. The college prepares men and women for challenging careers and fulfilling lives through the liberal arts, offering its approximately 1,000 students 36 majors, 39 minors and 11 pre-professional programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit www.FranklinCollege.edu.


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