I grew up in Mahtomedi, Minnesota and received my diploma from Mahtomedi High School in 2006. Upon completion of high school, I began a four-year bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota, Morris. This May 2010, I graduated with majors in biology and psychology, a minor in chemistry, and with pre-medicine concentration. During my undergraduate years, I was actively involved in campus clubs and organizations, varsity women’s soccer, and biological research. In the summer of 2009, I mentored under Dr. Leslie Schiff of the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology Department at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities as part of the Life Science Summer Undergraduate Research Program. My summer research project involved characterizing orthoreovirus entry mutants and uncovering the genetic mutations responsible for their enhanced sensitivity to proteolysis by host enzymes. In my senior year, I earned a research grant from the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to investigate longitudinal changes in antibiotic resistance among Staphylococcus isolates from a dairy herd transitioning from conventional to organic management practices. I now look forward to joining the bright and eager minds of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, where I hope to specialize in molecular virology and gene therapy.