7/24/2008 - Celebrating Success in Science at Judson College
By Michael J. Brooks
"We've been celebrating successes for a long time," said Dr. Thomas Wilson, head of the biology department at Judson College. "For a small college, we've been very successful in helping our students get into graduate programs and, for most of them, to the number one school on their list."
Wilson and Dr. George Williams, division chair for the science department and professor of chemistry, took time recently to recount some of these successes.
"I use the phrase, 'minimum requirements,' deliberately," Wilson said. "For the past 30 years, every student who has met the minimum requirements in this department has been successful in graduate study."
Wilson defined minimum requirements with an example.
In the pre-med curriculum, these include a 3.5 grade point average or better, a score of 24 of above on the Medical College Admissions Test, having "shadowed" a physician to learn from him or her, some hours of community service and a recommendation from the college.
Wilson admitted some students don't meet the minimum requirements and either "batten down the hatches" and get serious about their career goals or change majors.
"I think a positive about Judson is that George and I and our colleagues take a personal interest in our students and help them with their career planning," Wilson said. "We specialize in this place in individual attention."
The current student/teacher ratio at Judson is 11-to-1.
Williams noted that William B. Deal, retired dean of the UAB Medical School told him, "Judson College has a sterling example for preparing young women for medical school."
Wilson and Williams noted some recent success stories:
* Angi Gullard of New Market was accepted into the DMD/PhD dual degree program at the UAB Dental School and the UAB Molecular and Cellular Pathology graduate school. Gullard is the inaugural student in this new 8-year program.
* Rikki Enzor of Centre was accepted into the MD/PhD program at the Indiana University of Medicine in Indianapolis with a full-tuition scholarship and stipend. Enzor worked last summer in New York at the Stony Brook University program called "Research Experiences for Undergraduates" sponsored by the National Science Foundation. She learned about biophysical chemistry and molecular genetics and performed site-directed mutations and sub cloning procedures.
* Lauren Stephens of Mountain Brook will begin medical studies in August at UAB. She was granted an internship last summer at Vanderbilt University where she did research and "shadowed" a transplant surgeon.
* Keri Reeves of Hamilton and Tonya Morgan of Woodville are interning in the "2008 Summer Pre-Medical Rural Internship Program," sponsored by the Alabama Family Practice Rural Health Board and hosted by UAB's Huntsville Regional Medical Campus.
* Marion senior Allison Beckett is completing a summer internship at UAB with classes in physics, organic chemistry, anatomy, MCAT preparation and opportunity for physician "shadowing" in order to explore various medical fields.
"All who teach in this division--in science and math--are accountable to the school and to the students," Wilson said. "We're grateful to see our students doing well in their graduate degree programs and careers."
* Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.