Meet a Biology Major

margaret

Margaret Cooney ’14

Extra-curricular activities: 

  • Beta Beta Beta (biology honor society)
  • Honors Enrichment Program
  • Intramural Sports

Read about why Margaret chose her major [+]

Why did you choose your major? 

I had always been interested in science growing up and being a biology major gives me a lot of flexibility in choosing what I want to do in the field of science when I graduate from Manhattan College. It is a very hands-on major and one that keeps you engaged and interested in what is going on in the world around us.

What has been your favorite class? 

One of my favorite classes was Marine Biology (BIOL 409). Not only did I get the opportunity to learn a lot about marine and ocean life that I did not previously know, but all students in the class were given the opportunity to go to the U.S. Virgin Islands during spring break to conduct research projects of our choosing in place of taking a lab during the semester, which was a very rewarding and new experience. 

Have you done any research projects?

During the winter intersession, I spent about three weeks in Argentina and Chile studying the effects of sunlight and also the xlyem conductivity on different species of cacti with another biology student and my professor. It was a very rewarding and awesome experience!

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I hope to pursue a career in the field of forensic science. 

What are the faculty like?

All of the faculty members have been extremely helpful in the Biology department with editing lab reports, extra help and really anything that is necessary to help improve my understanding of class material. I’m really grateful that Dr. Evans gave me an incredible opportunity to do my first real research project in South America, which was a huge step for me in the field of biology.

What’s your favorite thing about this major?

The classes and labs are small and very hands-on. It is easier for me to learn things when I experience it firsthand and have professors who know me by name to help along the way.

What’s the most difficult thing about this major?

There is a pretty heavy workload and you will have to take some classes that may not interest you at all.  

What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?

Pick something that you are really interested in. If you pick a major just because it will make you a lot of money or because your friends are all doing it, you’re going to be bored in your classes and probably not do as well as you would if you were actually interested in hearing about what is being taught in your classes everyday.

 

jasmine

Jasmine Ribeaux ’14

Extra-curricular activities: 

  • Student Government
  • Operating Room Veterinary Assistant at the Animal Medical Center

Read about Jasmine’s favorite class [+]

What has been your favorite class? 

Evolution (BIOL 231) was my favorite biology class. Although the lecture was very interesting, the lab is what sets this class apart from the rest. One of our first labs was a trip to the Museum of Natural History where the professor, Dr. Bruce Shockey, is a research associate. Dr. Shockey took us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum. Not only did we get to see the museum’s extensive fossil collection, but we also got to meet the paleontologists who make the fossil exhibits possible. Towards the end of the semester we took a trip to Big Brooke in New Jersey to pan for shark teeth and other cretaceous fossils. I felt like a real scientist and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had!

Why did you choose your major? 

I have loved science all of my life, so when it came time to pick a major, I really didn't have a hard time. I picked biology in particular because of my love for animals. Once I saw the list of awesome classes, most of which involved animals in one way or another, I knew where I belonged.

Have you done any internships?

Through Manhattan College’s mentor program I was able to get an internship at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan. I worked as an assistant in the cardiology unit for the first half of the summer and then as an operating room assistant for the second half. I learned how to hold animals for vaccines, for intubation and for echo cardiograms. I even got to stand in and watch operations on everything from dogs to snakes to guinea pigs. After interning for five months, I was offered a job as an operating room veterinary assistant and have been working there ever since.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I would like to become a veterinarian.

Have any professors particularly influenced you?

Dr. Bruce Shockey is so enthusiastic that it’s contagious! His classes and enthusiasm have reinforced my love of biology.

What’s your favorite thing about this major?

The labs are my favorite part. I love doing dissections in anatomy classes and doing nature walks for my ecology and evolution classes!

What’s the most difficult thing about this major?

The studying never ends! The second I’m done with one lecture exam, I have to study for a lab practical or a quiz.  

What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?

Do what you love and accept the consequences. If you love science, do science but be prepared to have a hectic schedule and a lot of time in the lab. If you love English or philosophy, do that but be prepared to spend all your time reading and writing million page papers. There is no such thing as an easy major!