The Furman Biology Advantage
Choosing Furman University for my Biology major has been what I call “a game-changer”, as it unravels an unparalleled Furman Advantage. As a Biology major, I have been fortunate to scour into a world of discovery, where hands-on experiences and mentorship from world-class researchers have become an integral part of my academic journey.
One of the hallmark features of Furman’s Biology program is its commitment to fostering a culture of research excellence. The university fosters an environment where students are not merely spectators but active participants in groundbreaking research endeavors. Thus, students are given the opportunity to participate in hands-on research that contributes to society.
What Does It Feel Like To Be A Student Researcher?
Last summer, I joined the Dubash Lab, focusing on cardiac fibrosis. For me, even as a novice, I felt like “a majority of one” (Joseph Vaughn, Furman ‘68). I felt accomplished to have had a learned faculty trust me with such an important aspect of his research and best of all, I had the independence and freedom to explore how best I operated in the laboratory. This experience was transformative and allowed me to apply classroom knowledge to real-world challenges.
The apotheosis of my research experience was marked by presenting my findings at several conferences throughout last year – and [potentially] in this year as well. This was a testament to Furman’s commitment to showcasing and supporting student achievements. In September, I had the honor of presenting at the South Carolina INBRE conference hosted at the University of South Carolina. This conference – which happened to be my very first – allowed me to share my research and interact with peers and professionals who shared a passion for Cell Biology.
Following the initial research conference in September, my confidence in public speaking was boosted, and I felt like I was ready to take on the bigger stage at the American Society of Cell Biologists conference in Boston, Massachusetts. For this trip, Furman not only facilitated my participation but also sponsored the entire trip – from flight to accommodation and meals – of all attending lab partners. This unwavering support is evident in Furman’s dedication to ensuring that students have access to opportunities that transcend the boundaries of the classroom. The ASCB conference in Boston was the “melting pot of intellectual exchange” where I experienced the widest array of research done and the largest gathering of Scientists in a sitting.
Indeed, I was truly awe-inspired by the fascinating kinds of research that other scientists engaged in. I questioned them on some aspects of their results and made a few quick friends too. The benefits of attending such a prestigious event were immeasurable. Networking with researchers, scientists, and educators from around the world broadened my perspective on the possibilities within the realm of biology. The conference also offered specialized sessions on academic and professional growth and making a successful Ph.D. application. As an aspiring researcher, this knowledge was invaluable. What sets the Furman Advantage apart is not just the exposure to world-class research but the holistic approach to education.
The experiences I have gained, from working in the Dubash Lab to presenting at international conferences, have greatly impacted some of the most crucial decisions I have made in my academic journey and my aspirations for the future. I have learned that being a Biology major at Furman is not just about coursework, but also about building a community of trust and a relentless pursuit of knowledge. Furman’s dedication to delivering a life-changing educational experience is demonstrated by the possibilities it offers its students, and that is what makes me trust Furman in [properly] shaping my future.