Display Accessibility Tools

Accessibility Tools


Highlight Links

Change Contrast

Increase Text Size

Increase Letter Spacing

Readability Bar

Dyslexia Friendly Font

Increase Cursor Size

Meet Our Undergrads

We asked some of our undergraduate students to answer three questions for us:
1. Why did you choose to major in Microbiology, Genetics, & Immunology?
2. What is a typical day like for you?
3. What do you like best about our department?

Here's what they said....

Girl standing in red phone booth
Katie Ngo

I chose to major in Microbiology because I thought it seemed interesting and relevant to my future career path in pharmacy/medicine.

A typical day for me is waking up at 8 in the morning, going to classes, studying in the afternoon, and at night I like to journal/plan out my next day.

What I love best about the department is the guidance and the people. Everybody is so supportive, helpful, and will not hesitate to make sure that you have the resources you need to succeed.



Boy with curly hair in tan and blue jacket sitting in front of stone wall
Sam Snowden

I chose to major in MGI because I was always fascinated by the genetics units of high school biology classes. I was, and still am, really interested in how genotypes can be manually manipulated and the unique phenotype directly or indirectly observed, whether it is with gene mutations in eukaryotes or plasmids in prokaryotic organisms.

A typical day for me begins by getting up around 6-7 am, going to the gym, then to my classes for the day. If I have time between classes I will go get food or grind away at some homework, then usually head for home, hangout with friends, and finish up any homework that I didn’t finish earlier.

What I like most about the MGI Department is the welcoming, motivational community that was shown to me since my freshman year. Whether it’s during advising appointments or at MGI Club (which I highly recommend joining), it is made obvious that everyone is passionate about what they do and are willing to lend a helping hand. 

Smiling girl in black formal dress standing in front of a white wall with striped shadows.
Veona Cutinho

I am intrigued by the molecular mechanisms that underly the creation of life, which draws me to the study of genes – the blueprint of life. I want to learn the fundamentals of genetics so I can be at the forefront of designing and engineering molecules targeted for disease treatment to transform healthcare and enhance overall quality of life.

I enjoy my higher-level genetics courses that fully engage my critical thinking and problem-solving skills. When I am not in my classes, you can find me in my research lab – Cellular Reprogramming Laboratory at MSU. In between classes and labs, I enjoy grabbing lunch and conversations with my friends, and attending MGI seminars together. Evenings, I am always at every women’s basketball game at the Breslin center.

What I like best about the department is the people, resources, and research! I am privileged to be a part of the MGI department mainly because of its emphasis on research. The weekly seminars hosted by the department are what reshaped and refined my interest in genetic engineering and immunotherapy research for my PhD and post-doctoral studies. Moreover, the faculty provide a conducive environment and incredible opportunities (in travel funds, seminars, UURAF) to grow as a researcher!

Boy dressed in bow tie, tux shirt, and vest holding a wine glass while someone pours into it from a large distance away
Alassane Sow

The main reason I chose to major in Microbiology was the large and diverse group of research topics in the department. I enjoy going the weekly MGI seminars and find it an easy way to interact with professors and learn about current topics in microbiology. On a typical day I go to class and then work in the PSM building where I study mycology with Dr. Gregory Bonito.




Smiling boy standing in suit outdoors under pergola.
Joey Esparza

I chose to major in Microbiology because I knew a major in the sciences would allow me to explore my boundless curiosity, and at the time infectious disease especially sparked my interests. While at MSU I met Dr. Kirstin Parkin, who introduced me to the world of Immunology, and I haven't looked back since. 

I like to start my day with movement, whether that's going to the gym, running along the red cedar river or with a quick morning stretch. Besides attending classes and depending on the day, I can be found in Dr. Petroff's lab conducing my research or serving as a ULA for intro biology - all my days end with me studying at the law library before I head home.

What I like best about the department is the community and the relationships I've built through my time in MGI. Advice that I received coming to MSU was identify a mentor. Now, I feel like I have 10 and I think that reflects the eagerness to train the future scientist coming out of MGI. 

Smiling girl in black formal dress.
Nicole Smith

I wanted to major in Microbiology, Genetics, & Immunology because I was able to find applications for my love of the environment within microbial research. I am an environmental biology: microbiology major which allows me to explore my two interests separately as well as in an interdisciplinary environment. 

I typically split my weeks into two different types of days according to my classes. I either have a day with 3-4 shorter classes with decent gaps in between for homework, study breaks, and snacks or I have a single morning class followed by working in my research lab. I work for Dr. Matthew Schrenk in his geomicrobiology lab analyzing microbial communities within aquatic and terrestrial environments. 

I really enjoy all of the research opportunities within the Microbiology, Genetics, & Immunology department. Everywhere you look, there are students working in amazing research labs with impacts across many different fields.

Man with short brown hair and beard stands with his arms crossed in a lab coat.
Dylan Luce

I chose to major in Microbiology, Genetics, & Immunology because it allowed me to delve into my passion for studying and understanding how pathogens and other microbes function and how they interact with their hosts. Majoring in Microbiology has allowed me the unique opportunity to explore this topic in a hands-on approach through research working in my lab, which has been a fantastic experience that has been the highlight of my time at Michigan State. 

A typical day for me involves waking up early to prepare for the day and then heading to my morning classes. Once I'm finished with my classes for the day, I typically head into my research lab to do lab work, do homework, and hang out with my friends. In the evenings, I like to spend time with my cat and listen to music to relax.

To me, the best part about the department is the people. The relationships I have been able to develop with people in the department who are fully invested in my success as a student and as a person have made my time here really special.

Girl with long brown hair in a light green shirt standing in front of a stone wall.
Anna Barker

I am majoring in genetics because I have always been extremely interested in the complexity of how genetics determines traits and diseases. There are always new things being discovered and I am drawn to the idea of being able to contribute to personalized healthcare and medicine one day. 

A typical day for me involves getting up in the morning for my classes. Either after or in between classes, I go into my research lab to get my work done there for the day. After all my classes are finished, I'll work on homework, study with my friends, hang out with my roommates and go to the gym. After the gym I usually do more schoolwork or relax before bed.

What I like best about the department is all the professors are extremely knowledgeable in their field and truly passionate about the work that they do. It makes classes a lot more engaging when professors are excited about what they are teaching. They are also extremely supportive and truly want their students to succeed so if you need help, there are people who are more than willing to make sure you get it.

Girl smiling in front of white wall.
Ella Markley

I chose to major in MGI because the coursework aligned really well with my academic interests and made me excited about learning. Additionally, my major has given me the flexibility to pursue a minor to round out my education at MSU as I prepare for graduate school. 

During a typical day, I have classes either in the morning or the afternoon. On days when I have a lighter class schedule, I work part time in a research lab on campus. Most of my study time is in the evening and occasionally if I have time in between classes. 

One of the best things about the department is their encouragement to get involved in a research lab early in our college career. Being in a lab, whether it be a paid position or doing research for credit, is a great opportunity to gain more skills outside of the classroom. My lab colleagues have also been great mentors and have been supportive throughout my time as an undergrad.