On May 8, 2010, McMurry held its spring commencement in Kimbrell Arena. Among the 200+ graduates on this day was the FIRST graduate of the Biomedical Science Program. Just two years old, the program has become a landing site for some students who have either changed from other majors or have transferred in from other colleges and found the collection of courses previously taken match best with the BIMS curriculum. Today’s graduate began her college career elsewhere but found her home in our BIMS program.
Amanda Miller was raised in Merkel, TX, just a short drive from Abilene. However, the road taken that would eventually lead to her McMurry degree took her tthrough Orlando FL to Belton TX to Lubbock TX before returning her to Taylor County. She spent a year as Cinderella at Disneyworld, began her college career at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor, continued it at Lubbock Christian University, and arrived in my office for advising during the summer of 2008 shortly after the BIMS program received faculty approval. Looking at the collection of courses taken, considering how we might maximize their “fit” with our degree plans, and discussing where she wanted her life to go, we found a great opportunity for her in BIMS. She has taken flight in the program, becoming Dr. Heidi DiFrancesca’s “go-to” student for help in preparing and delivering courses in molecular biology and genetics. Her plans? To give back by serving the HIV-infected people of Africa as a member of the Peace Corps. More evidence that a McMurry education is more about skills and knowledge – values and service are learned in extra measure. We wish you well, Amanda. Godspeed.
Look familiar to you? Amanda Miller once greeted families by the thousands as a celebrity at DisneyWorld. Picture her with contacts instead of glasses, perfect blonde updo, elbow-length gloves, a huge ballgown, and glass slippers and you might get an idea of the job Amanda held in between high school graduation and the start of her college career.
Ask Amanda and she’ll tell you it was an adventure of a lifetime to work for a year at DisneyWorld and to be every little girl’s (and every teenage guy’s) dream. But the desire to move on with life led Amanda to several colleges and career interests before finding McMurry and the Biomedical Science program. Yes, Amanda is still waiting for her prince to come, but she’s not wasting her time doing so! The guys in BIMS are awfully glad she’s made that choice!
Amanda transferred to McMurry for the Fall 2008 semester, bringing hours from at least two other colleges. Her wanderlust satisfied, she decided to return to home and family to complete her college education. Now she is “home” in a major that excites her every bit as much as the glamour of being a featured Disney character. She spends lots of time in the molecular lab, helping Dr. D, building skills that will serve her well as she pursues new dreams – working in the biotech industry and one day teaching molecular biology herself.