Marine biology alumna credits Carroll for her recent success

Author: Carroll University

Published Date: 2/16/2018

Categories: Alumni Marine Sciences


alumni student scuba diving

Jessica Hintzsche, a Carroll alumna who majored in marine biology, has recently been accepted into the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia where she will pursue a master's in its molecular biology research extensive degree program. 

Carroll students enrolled in the marine biology program spend two years at Carroll, learning fundamental principles in biology, chemistry and math, as well as completing general education requirements. The last two years are spent at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU), where students have the Pacific Ocean at their doorstep to study marine science in greater depth.

Jessica decided to attend Carroll for many reasons but the ability immerse herself in marine biology as an undergraduate while remaining close to home was important. She commented, "I am so glad that Carroll University had a marine biology program. When I graduated from high school, even though I wasn't ready to admit it, I was not ready to be that far from home." 

Jessica said the program was a challenge for her, especially the higher-level math classes. With the help from Dr. David Feil, associate professor of mathematics, Jessica was able to overcome the challenges. She credited Feil as being one of the professors that had the biggest impact on her. She said, "Dr. Feil probably spent more time as my tutor than as my lecturer. He understood that not everyone in his class was going to be a mathematician." She also added, "I learned from him that I can stumble and still be a success in my field." 

Jessica said her favorite memories of her time at Carroll were the ones she spent trying something completely new. "I got to try ice climbing, slacklining and cake decorating!" she noted. "Although a lot of the things I tried I never did again, I have so many cool stories and new activities that I love to do!" Jessica also reflected on her improvement as a student, which she credits to Carroll. "I believe that Carroll's expectations of its students increased my expectation of myself. I was no longer OK with knowing a good portion of the material, I needed to perfect it." She added, "I thank Carroll for its impact on my life."

Jessica had some words of advice for students going through the program. "The courses are going to be hard, but it is going to be worth it. Carroll holds its aspiring scientists to a high standard, which gave us students a competitive edge when we transferred to HPU. You might feel like giving up if you start to falter in a class, but don't. If you stumble it's OK!" Lastly, Jessica added, "Make sure you don't spend all your time studying! Carroll has amazing events that you are going to remember more than that one time you had more cups of coffee than hours of sleep. Enjoy your time there and try every new thing you possibly can."

Once Jessica completes her master's degree, she plans to earn her doctorate degree and to become a coral reef geneticist to help find ways of preserving coral reefs.