Pioneer Profile

Martha Hernandez-Gomez '17

Majors: Biology and Pre-Physician Assistant
Minor: Biochemistry

What made you choose this major?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to become a physician. After taking AP Biology in high school I knew that this would be the door to my career. Biology and science overall has always been a strength and an enjoyable subject for me. For that reason, I decided to pursue a major that I would enjoy and that I would find challenging here at Carroll University.

How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?

Carroll University’s curriculum encourages its students to learn in different ways. While some classes focus on lectures, many of them take on a student-led discussion format. I have enjoyed learning from my peers in that way, and it has made me a better public speaker. Being able to express myself has always been a focus in my classes—from religion courses to chemistry ones—Carroll has taught me to trust my knowledge enough to present it to others. Furthermore, as a biology major, I enjoy the hands-on experience that laboratory lessons have given me. I feel ready to take on the next steps in my career thanks to my professors here at Carroll University.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?

I would say that the small classes and the personalized attention from faculty has positively influenced my experience here. I have been lucky to have been taught by professors that truly care about their students. They are always willing to meet with you and provide the resources that will help you succeed. Professors here are approachable and caring. Dr. Deirdre Keenan, for instance, is a professor that cares for her students and will take the time to get to know them. Dr. Keenan has allowed me to express myself in class and has taken the time to aid me and a group of students in state-wide research competitions. That personalized attention is what makes her, and many professors at Carroll University, successful in and outside the classroom.

What’s a unique experience you’ve had relating to the coursework for your major?

I believe that my biology capstone final project has been one of my favorite and most memorable projects during my four years at Carroll University. Lead by Dr. Roberto Brenes, we were asked to select a disease that would be presented by the end of the semester, along with the effects that the disease has at different biological levels. We were asked to integrate the knowledge that four years of (environmental, organismal, molecular and even social) biology has provided us. In this project, I decided to focus on a rare disease called Cysticercosis. By the end of this course, my knowledge of the disease was advanced and I was able to put together a final project that I was truly proud of.

Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?

I am more than happy with my decision to attend Carroll University. Here, I have received an education that I am proud to have worked for. I was challenged at every step, and today I can say that I feel prepared for what’s to come. Furthermore, the people here at Carroll have made this the best four years of my life. Student organizations, such as the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), have created a home away from home for me. I have also been very lucky to have meet influential mentors like Nicole Davis at the Office of Cultural Diversity. Her encouragement and faith in me has helped in forming the professional that I am today.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Carroll University has been like a family for me. The support and empowerment that this university has given me throughout these four years, has shaped who I am. I could not have made a better decision than to continue my education here at Carroll University.

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