Graduation year: 2014
Activities: Sigma Xi Research Society
Post-grad plans: Attend graduate school to research overwintering and physiological mechanisms in ectotherms.
Why did you choose to attend Augustana?
I initially came to join the pre-dentistry program with intentions of getting into dental school.
Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
Definitely not. I came to Augustana with a naïve interest in dentistry, but my coursework and research experiences over the past four years have inspired me to become a biologist.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
I owe thanks to all my professors at Augustana, but Dr. Tim Muir is who inspired me to change my career path, and he has helped define my position today. It started with a simple question he asked me in his Human Physiology course my sophomore year: “Want to help me catch turtles over the summer?” I eagerly accepted and joined his research team shortly after. I’ve wanted to become a biologist ever since.
A peak experience?
I was granted a Student Summer Research Fellowship to carry out my own research experiment. This project allowed me to get a feel for a biologist’s lifestyle and helped prepare me for graduate school. It definitely gave me more confidence.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
I’ve learned that I don’t have a limit. I keep pushing myself to take on bigger challenges, and I always succeed, whether it’s learning from my mistakes or accomplishing something I didn’t know I was capable of.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used my Augie Choice to help fund my research project. I needed money to rent a truck for carrying equipment to our turtle-trapping field sites. I also purchased necessary equipment and laboratory supplies to carry out my study.
What will you miss the most?
I’ll miss Augustana’s campus. It’s especially aesthetic during the season changes, and I’ll miss getting in the slough to check turtle traps.
Advice for the Class of 2018?
Don’t be afraid to take courses that don’t necessarily fit into your major or field of interest. I particularly enjoyed the variety of writing courses I took, and I gained invaluable experience in that area.
"Only Jimmy's development as a biological researcher outshines his performance in class. He is skilled at making field measurements, organizing and analyzing data, and, if he had his own set of keys, would probably be completely independent in the laboratory. He is such a good-natured person that I will miss working with him as much for the camaraderie as for the research collaboration. Jimmy’s research and teaching career will be a bright one.”