Biology lives in nature and research


File Photo/The LIon's Roar

At “Rock-n-Roar” 2018, the biological sciences department set up a reptile exhibit for high school students to observe.

The Department of Biological Sciences, located on south campus, offers research and job opportunities that can mean more than a standard office setting.

In addition to opening the door to diverse job environments, from research in the field to a job at a walk-in clinic, the Biological Sciences department can be a gateway to hands-on experiences. With a building that boasts over $4 million dollars in teaching and research equipment, including laboratories, a roof-top greenhouse, a vivarium, computer lab and electron microscopy center, the department also boasts a highly-ranked graduate degree program.

Christopher Beachy, head of the Department of Biological Sciences, discussed what the department has to offer.

“We offer research opportunities for our students to learn about biological sciences a little bit more, and we feel like that is the best way for them to learn,” explained Beachy. “Research is how science operates, and getting involved in the research process is one of the best ways to become a good scientist. Southeastern is a university where students come to get a bachelor’s degree in order to go to medical school or veterinarian school.”

Beachy explained that the department’s goal is to make students feel connected with professors rather than providing the normal college experience.

“We also make our department seem like a small school environment, which I have taught at small schools, and this by no means is a small school,” said Beachy. “We have over 800 majors come through the biological sciences department, and our faculty does a great job making that number feel smaller to students.”

In addition to being proud of a department that gives off a smaller feel, Beachy is also proud of their growing accomplishments. This past year, the department published more scientific articles.

“We produce a lot of peer reviewed scientific articles this past year with 52, that number is very good, usually we are in the mid 30s,” shared Beachy. “With that being said, we did a very great job producing that much this past school year. We have to thank our teachers, scholars and servants for that number because without them none of that would be possible.”

According to Beachy, a degree in the biological sciences field can offer multiple opportunities in the workforce.

“You can go to medical school with the degree, or you can go straight into the work force,” stated Beachy. “The pay is not great right after graduation because most students are acquiring more bills because of more schooling. Those who choose more schooling after Southeastern tend to make a lot more money with no real salary cap. There is an endless amount of possibilities.”

Kristen Burrick, a junior biological sciences major, discussed what sparked her interest in microbiology and her post-graduate goals.

“Ever since I was a child, I would collect toads in the yard and found that really fascinating,” explained Bourg. “I was just really always interested as a kid. I hope to get a job in a lab setting. I have tried research within the field, but it was not for me.”

Burrick had a word of warning for those interested in biological sciences, though.

“If you are grossed out by it, you should not do it because it will lose your interest very quickly,” stated Burrick.

The most enjoyable part of the department for Ahian Medina, another junior biological sciences major, is learning information about the subject.

“It is a great department that teaches and informs you a lot about biology,” shared Medina. “It gives you a new perspective on life and makes you appreciate the smallest things. You walk outside and truly appreciate everything around you.”