"I have also been doing research in the lab since freshman year and have received a much different kind of education than I get out of classes. I can go and learn at my own pace, do things I wouldn't be able to do in a regular teaching lab."

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Class of 2012 update: This summer, Justin will lead backpacking and sea kayaking trips in Alaska for seventh and eighth graders. In the fall, he'll head to Johns Hopkins University to enter a doctoral program in cellular, molecular, developmental biology and biophysics.

Why Bucknell?

"I did an overnight here and got a good feeling about Bucknell mainly because of the small classes and smaller-sized graduate program. Both of these things meant that I could get greater lab access early on. I went to a boarding school with small classes and I wanted the same experience out of college. My visit was on an exciting night: I visited during the NCAA championships. Though the social life was nice, the class sizes are really what wooed me."

My major

"I really enjoyed my chemistry classes in high school, but since I've been here, I've leaned more toward biology. The chemistry is practical, but with biology you can feel and experience what you are working on more than chemistry. I am learning how the world works.

"They offer a lot of interesting 300-level biology courses here, something I didn't realize when I first applied. I have also been doing research in the lab since freshman year and have received a much different kind of education than I get out of classes. I can go and learn at my own pace, do things I wouldn't be able to do in a regular teaching lab.

"I research the genetics of cyanobacteria, helping my professor, Dr. Stowe-Evans, with whom I have a publication coming out soon. Right now I'm doing half-credit research, six hours a week, but next semester I am upgrading to a full credit and 12 hours a week. I stayed here this past summer doing research, and with 40 hours hands-on in the lab a week, you can accomplish a lot more.

"I hope to go to graduate school, get a Ph.D. and go into research. I'm not fully sure on what subject, but I want to go into the realm of biology — molecular biology, genetics or cellular biology."

My activities

"I love backpacking, hiking and being outside, so I want the same thing out of my career — get a chance to study organisms at high altitudes or in amazing environments, which I will have to go collect of course. I was part of the Environmental Res College and went to DreamCatcher Farm my freshman year. I volunteered there again this summer and was able to get organic, homegrown food. It has made me really respect where food comes from.

"I am also a facilitator for CLIMBucknell. I did BuckWild, and my Buck-link was part of ClimBucknell and suggested I work there. It gives me a chance to get away from campus and spend time in the woods while helping others to team build and problem solve. I am also a part of SERV (Student Emergency Response Volunteers). I have no desire to be a doctor. My EMT was just a natural progression after I got my Wilderness First Responder.

"I work for the Bucknell Professional Networks to try to link students, faculty, alumni and teachers, to create networking opportunities. We streamed an entrepreneurial launch event online from New York City, and had 1,344 people view it live. President Bravman moderated it and we had great panelists. At first, I didn't really know what I was getting into. The more I learned about it the more I liked it. While I don't foresee myself going into a career right after college, the experiences I have had with the Bucknell Professional Networks have been a great way to experience the professional world and start networking."

Justin is from Sudbury, Mass.

Posted Jan. 12, 2011
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