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Kelly Widhammer

Major: Biology
Minors: Chemistry and Business
Hometown: Oak Harbor, Washington

Tell us about your independent research project.
My research project was basically testing combinations of spinach juice and chemicals on the ion channels of bullfrog tadpole skins. The lab experience that I've gained is one of the greatest perks of this project. I also had basically free reign over the biology lab rooms for an entire summer and fall semester. At the start of my project, my advisor told me that a good portion of research is spent troubleshooting, and boy was he right. There were days when I had problems with the equipment, skins, and results. That was so frustrating, but at the same time, it helped to challenge me to figure out how to solve those problems so when I did get good results, it was very rewarding!

What activities are you involved in outside of the classroom?
I have been involved with the Royal Society of Bethany Scientists (RSBS), the Red Cross Blood Drive Committee, and a participant in the Relay For Life on campus for the past three years. RSBS has been my favorite because the club members and advisors share the same interests and that makes it so enjoyable. I have learned a lot about teamwork and communication by being a part of these clubs. In the "real world" teamwork and communication are, in my opinion, two of the most important skills a person can have. So by working as a team in these clubs and communicating with other members, the Bethany community, and people outside of Bethany, it really gives a person a good head start to what life will be like after college.

Which Bethany course has been the most interesting to you and why?
Biochemistry has become my favorite class. The class is a "foundation" to understanding other aspects that I have learned in biology, health, and chemistry classes. It is easier to understand how the body works when you first understand how each molecule or cell works. Not only is the course information the most interesting to me, but the dynamic of the class has been one of my favorites. Dr. Woller has the lectures recorded online to work around conflicting class schedules. The students in the class have been in other chemistry classes taught by Dr. Woller over my four years here, so we have really become a team and we help each other learn, understand the material, and work through the labs.

Describe the Bethany faculty members.
The best part about the faculty is that they take the time to get to know each of their students. Even professors that I had one general education class with freshman year still remember who I am and will strike up a conversation when I pass them in the hallway. The faculty in the biology and chemistry department go above and beyond that, I have sat in their offices for literally hours just chatting. They don't mind taking time out of their day to help with homework, give advice for the future or even spiritual advice, or just to sit and have a good laugh.

What is the best thing about being a Bethany student?
The best part about being a Bethany student, and more specifically a biology major, is being able to learn the material without having evolutionary theories contradict my beliefs. In a few of my biology and chemistry courses, the syllabi contains this Bible verse: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (Psalms 139:14) That really sums up how we are taught and how we should look at the constant advancements of science and technology; as ways to better praise and thank God for his beautifully complex creation.

What are your career aspirations and future goals?
I am currently looking into an internship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. I'm planning on taking a year off of school, and then returning to become a medical technician. One of the course requirements for that program is immunology, and I am thankful that I can take this course at Bethany. My advisor created his own immunology course basically just for me as a topics course! I doubt any other college or university would do that for one of their students!