Graduate Comments

Comments by former Biology Students

Tyler Price - B.A. (Biology)

Dr. Beachy and Dr. Super,

I recently received the North Dakota Medicine magazine that UNDSMHS 
sends out quarterly and I had the chance to take a quick look through 
it and saw the article in there about INBRE and the work being done at 
MSU.  I just wanted to send a quick note and say that the article was 
very well done and that it appears that MSU is continuing to foster a 
great learning environment.  Reading the article lended the 
opportunity for a proud moment for myself being that I will always be 
grateful for my experiences at MSU.  I wish you both and the entire 
biology department at MSU continued success and advancement in the 
future.  Keep up the great work and job well done!

Take care and do stay in touch!



Tyler Price, MD
PGY-1 EM Residency
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE

Tyler Berg - B.A. (Biology) Spring 2006

“Through individual mentoring, stimulating curriculum and a practical approach, the faculty  of the Minot State science department have laid a foundation of education and experience, which has helped me thrive and evolve in the workplace.  Their combination of classroom, field and experiment-based classes and labs, have given me the specialized skills and abilities needed to succeed in my chosen field of study.”

Tyler is currently working as a Compositional & Pathogenic Microbiologist at the Kansas Department of Agriculture

Heidi Richter - B.A. (Biology, Art) Spring 2005

" I’ll admit that when I first enrolled at Minot State, I had no intentions on staying through to graduation.  I couldn’t imagine that such a small school, just blocks from where I grew up, would have everything I wanted in an undergraduate program.  I came to find very quickly though, that MSU was exactly where I needed to be, for many reasons. The most obvious of these is the one-on-one relationships you can have as a student with the professors.  They all know you by name and are always available to answer questions or help with any problem.  The small class sizes are also a major plus.  My developmental biology class had three students and entomology was just me!

But the main reason to choose MSU, if you’re looking for a biology degree, is the research.  If you want to be a scientist, then you want to do research.  And MSU is the only school in the state that offers this amount of undergraduate opportunities, not only working on a professor’s project, but coming up with your own topic and working it towards publication.  I am very grateful for my research experience, and I know it helped secure my place in my current graduate program."

After graduating from MSU Heidi entered the graduate program for Biomedical Communications at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Canada. Heidi has since graduated with a Masters degree in Biomedical Illustration and is now a Certified Medical Illustrator working for Precision Graphics ( in Champaign, IL.

Jaime Nett - B.A. (Biology) Spring 2005

"I took an unconventional path to my eventual enrollment in the Minot State University biology program. After a few years off from school, I was nervous about starting a curriculum in a field that I had largely neglected since my sophomore year in high school. However, each one of my professors made me feel comfortable with my decision and with my ability to thrive. While my final goal was to enter a veterinary school, I enjoyed the opportunity to enroll in a variety of courses and take advantage of the faculty’s wide range of specialties. I also had the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research, and the experience was invaluable in teaching me to think critically and preparing me to present to large groups of my colleagues. Minot State gave me a firm basis in biological science, well balanced in breadth and depth, and this basis has allowed me to succeed in my continuing studies. All my thanks to the outstanding faculty for their support and determination to make me think, both inside and outside the classroom."

Jaime is a practicing veterinarian (University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Minneapolis)

Jessica Townsend - B.A. (Biology) Spring 2005

“Having begun my college career at a large university, Arkansas State, my transfer to Minot State was somewhat of a culture shock.  However, during my 3 years at MSU, I found many advantages of going to a small college.  For example:  smaller class sizes, more individualized attention, and great opportunities usually reserved for graduate students at larger colleges.  While I was just a face in the crowd at ASU, people actually knew my name at Minot State.  Even professors knew who I was and were familiar with my work.  And the opportunity to do undergraduate research at MSU is not something as easy to come by in a big school where undergrads usually end up doing menial tasks.  Transferring to Minot State was the best decision I could’ve made and, although I’m a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin now, I still miss how close the biology students and faculty were at MSU.”

Jessica is currently a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Jordan Keith - B.A. (Biology) Spring 2004

"I knew coming out of high school I wanted to major in Biology and possibly use it towards further education in ealthcare.  Many people told me I had to go to a UND, NDSU or an expensive private school like Concordia to even be considered by health professional schools.  They were wrong.  In my small biology class, we had people accepted in Dental, Optometry, Veterinarian, and Medical schools.  They prepared me incredibly well as a biologist, for the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT), and for professional school.  The MSU biology department has the best professors I have ever had at any level.  They are a young, gifted staff excited about what they are doing, and that creates an environment easy to be successful in.  Instead of rote memorization, many of the classes forced me to think about the material critically, using a problem solving approach.  These skills are vital for a healthcare professional.  The experience and attention you get in the MSU biology community goes beyond the great education.  You leave not as a number, or a student they once had, but as a respected colleague and friend.  Whenever I am in the Minot area I always make sure I stop in and say hello and give a well deserved thank you.  Thank you biology faculty!"

Jordan is currently enrolled at the Pacific University College of Optometry.

Jason Burckhard - B.A. (Biology) Spring 2003

"The Minot State University Biology Department is outstanding.  It offers the educational basis you'll need for a wide range of biology careers. This program can prepare you for a health professional school, a masters degree in biology, or any other biologically related field.  The program offers research opportunities on top of a stellar education.  In addition, you'll have a sense of belonging at MSU because the class sizes are small enough for the faculty to know your name.  Finally, the faculty at MSU's biology department are second to none.  Their knowledge, expertise, and outstanding teaching abilities offer you a chance to succeed in your chosen major. 

I would not trade the foundation I received at MSU for anything.  The knowledge I gained and the experiences I had were awesome and the faculty at MSU made my experience exceptional."

Jason is currently enrolled in the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

Traci Tranby - B.A. (Biology) Spring 2002

"After being a graduate of Minot State University for many years now, I am still happy I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Biology there. I have always felt well prepared for both graduate school and my job. The biology department is definitely top notch."

Traci earned a MS in Plant Molecular Biology from University of South Carolina, 2005. She is currently a Molecular Biologist at the University of Illinois

Evan Barker- B.S. (Biology Education) Fall 2000

" The Biology Department professors at Minot State were always available to assist in clarifying information. It was great to have such a personal interaction with the subject matter experts. The coursework at Minot State, as well as the independent research opportunities available are definitely tailored to my upcoming job as a Biology, Chemistry, and Physics teacher in ND. The evaluations I received during practicum, and student teaching all reflected excellence in knowledge of subject matter. "

Evan is teaching Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in rural ND.

Jayme Calavera - B.A. (Biology) Spring 2000

"The professors were always there for one on one attention. My required coursework gave me the necessary skills to operate the technical equipment I use everyday at work."

Jayme has been hired as Crop Consultant by Northern Agricultural Management headquartered in Westhope, North Dakota. He is responsible for providing area agriculturalists with information on weed and insect protection, soil nutrient conditions, and crop-rotation. Jayme feels that he was hired, in part, because of his experience at MSU - particularly the plant research he participated as a student within the MSU Department of Biology.

Cari M. Hein - B.A. (Biology) Spring 2000

"My experience as an undergraduate at Minot State University gave me a chance to take part in biological research that I feel was essential in my placement into graduate school. I received individual guidance from faculty members who I believe to be among the best in their respective fields of study. I can honestly say that had I been given a chance to attend any college in the country, I would not have chosen another university. As a student, whether you choose to pursue an advanced degree or enter the professional sector, the biology program at Minot State University can definitely open many windows of opportunity."

After earning her Biology degree Cari became a graduate student at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio

Benjamin S. Davis - B.A. (Biology) Spring 2000

"I would like to thank you for the education I received while I was at MSU. Throughout the years MSU has greatly improved."

After earning his Biology degree Ben enrolled in the medical school of the University of Kansas


Dale Schell - B. A. (Biology) Spring 1999

"My biology degree from Minot State University has allowed me to be successful at the professional school level. Minot State University has proven to be a great educational and economic choice for me."

After earning his Biology degree Dale attended the College of Optometry, Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon

Shiloh S. Schnabel - B. A. (Biology) Spring 1999

"The best thing about majoring in Biology at Minot State was the involvement of the Faculty. The Science faculty are excellent teachers and advisors. I learned not only cellular structure and DNA replication but critical thinking, a skill necessary in most careers. The class sizes were reasonable. I also had the opportunity to become involved with several Science Clubs, including the Biology Club, which served as a valuable resource for tutors and study partners and also facilitated friendships with people with similar goals and interests. I am really glad I went to MSU - it was a great experience! "

Shiloh is now an Aseptic Manufacturing Technician at Lifecore Biomedical. Lifecore is a biotechnology company locate in Chaska Minnesota which produces products required for eye surgeries as well as other products include bovine embryo preservative and injectable joint lubricant for race horses. Shiloh reports that the company is great to work for and the benefits are excellent, but best of all every weekend is at least 3 days long!

Mike Lenertz - B.A. (Biology) Spring 1999

"The quality of education at Minot State is equal or better when compared to more expensive universities. The faculty to student ratio is virtually unmatchable! The education I received helped me do well on the MCAT in order to get into medical school."

After earning his Biology degree Mike attended the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University - Osteopathic Medical Center