• Graduation Year: 2025


MichelleBrownsquareMajor: Biological Sciences

Minor: Computer Science

How did you decide on your major?

I was unsure about what I wanted my career to be in the future when I was in high school, so I decided that Biological Sciences was a great choice for me because it leaves me with many options in the future. I went through many phases, including pharmacy, genetic counseling, immunology, before deciding that I want to work in computational biology and/or data science involving bioinformatics. As for my computer science minor, I was inspired by other CS majors in my life and once I decided on data science, I switched my minor to be CS because it would be very helpful in grad school!

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

I took some computer science and advanced math classes and realized that I actually love those subjects, and that they’re not too difficult either. However, I loved Biology and still wanted it to be a major part of my career field, so I did some research and found out about the crossroads between Biology and CS and math: bioinformatics. I also always knew that I wanted to go to graduate school, so figuring out what I wanted my masters to be was very appealing.

Do you have favorite class/professor within your major?

My favorite professor is Dr. Villegas, who teaches Intro Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and he’s also my lab professor for that class. He really cares about his students and helps us understand content when it’s confusing. His teaching makes me feel prepared, and I often use concepts from the class in my research lab.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

I tutored physics at ODASIS for 2 semesters, and genetics for 1 semester. Teaching physics was really fun, and I got to connect with the students a lot. I also really liked Omolade Gbolade, the ODASIS upper-level sciences coordinator. Furthermore, I loved taking Gender and Consumption with Mich Ling, and I feel that I learned a lot in that class that I wouldn’t have in any of the classes for my major or minor.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I am a student ambassador for the Division of Life Sciences and did a DLS Fellowship last summer. I also did wet lab research in the Covey lab for 2 years before switching to the Montagna lab at CINJ for some dry lab experience. I also have a leads optimization internship at Bristol Myers Squibb, and I was in band and orchestra for over 7 years and recorded an album at Abbey Road Studios.

What are your plans following graduation?

I will be applying for Computational Biology and Data Science Masters programs at the end of this year, hopefully in a school in the Northeast. Following that, I would like to work at a company like BMS, especially because of my internship experience there.

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