This spring Colin will walk the stage to end his college career with a handshake and diploma, and thus beginning the next phase of his life. In many ways, Colin represents the very best of a college education at a university where students are more than ID numbers and test scores.
Colin came to McMurry a number of years ago and found mixed academic success. Frustrated, he left and joined the Marines, serving his nation admirably. Upon completion of his active service, Colin returned and rededicated himself to success in preparing for medical education.
Something is different this time around, and I believe I know what it is. Colin has involved himself in research-rich experiences. He began working several years ago with Dr. Carol McClelland, an adjunct faculty member (PhD from Colorado State and former student in my microbiology course at Texas A&M) who wanted a place to hang her hat and continue in her NIH fellowship research. Carol is an Abilenian originally and wanted to be close to home while her husband was deployed with the Air Force. She got Colin involved in hands-on research and suddenly things started to click. Later, when Carol’s family moved to California, Colin jumped into research-rich courses to work with other BIMS faculty. The result has been something to pin his knowledge on, something to translate theoretical into concrete. Now he “gets it” and he’s prepared for life after McMurry.
I saw Colin this week and he informed me that he has been accepted into a graduate program in molecular pathology this fall. Another success story.
More and more students will experience the same success in the BIMS program because the research-rich curriculum picks at a student’s curiosity and engages them in learning in ways that differ from seat time in a lecture course, or canned experiments conducted in the lab. The “BIMS Way” works!