Program of the Month Q&A: Biology Student Marissa Brockway ’17
Marissa Brockway ’17 developed a great love for science during her high school years. Currently a senior in Medaille’s biology (B.S.) program, Brockway serves as a supplemental instructor for chemistry and biology classes. She also works as a peer tutor in the College’s Academic Success Center. She finished her associate degree in veterinary technology in December 2017, and has already been accepted into Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Here, Brockway explains how her biology degree has complemented her technical skills and provided her with a solid science background, fully preparing her for a graduate education and career in veterinary medicine.
What first drew you to enroll in the biology (BIO) program?
I started out at Medaille as a vet tech major, planning to earn associate’ and bachelor’s degrees in veterinary technology. I always had a goal of applying to veterinary medicine school after finishing my undergraduate education. Dr. Nancy Pugh, the chair of Medaille’s Department of Veterinary Technology, served as a mentor to me. She advised me that a bachelor’s degree in biology would give me a background in science which would enhance the technical skills I was learning in my vet tech classes. So in my sophomore year, I decided to enroll in the BIO program.
Describe your experience in the BIO program. What stands out?
The professors have definitely been my favorite part of the program. BIO professors like Dr. Bernadette Clabeaux and Dr. Kim Bailey genuinely want you to succeed, and they are willing to do whatever they can to help you if you put in the work. I also love all of the extra opportunities offered within the BIO program. Participating in Science in Bloom has allowed me to mentor middle school students and immerse them in science. That experience, along with serving as a supplemental instructor and a peer tutor, has enhanced my own education.
What types of things have you learned about yourself and your career goals from your studies?
By nature, I am a very technical person. My BIO courses have taught me to think about the bigger picture and to analyze more. I have gained perspective, and have realized that there is usually more than one way to do things. I see how it all fits together and what Dr. Pugh meant — you have to think about the big picture in veterinary medicine, in order to not misdiagnose an issue or lead to other complications.
What is the best advice you have received from a BIO faculty member?
I have received a lot of guiding advice from faculty during my time at Medaille, but one example that really stands out to me came from Dr. Clabeaux. I was worried that I wasn’t doing enough to achieve my goal of getting accepted into vet school, but Dr. Clabeaux reassured me and told me not to worry. She told me that I was doing everything I needed to do in order to get where I wanted to go, and that meant a lot coming from her. She ended up being right!
What would you like to do with your degree after you graduate?
After attending Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, my goal is to either work as a veterinarian in an emergency clinic or to work in the large animal and public health field, with farm animals.
What advice would you give to individuals trying to decide on a major?
Always aim high. Get your prerequisites done, then do some soul searching and find where you best fit. Once you learn what you actually want to do and work towards it, it will fall into place.
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