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Student Spotlight
Q & A with a biology major





Matt Jordan '11

Norton, MA

Career Interests:
Medical Doctor


Experience as a biology major: I came to St. Michael's knowing that I wanted to be a science major and thought that biology was the right choice for me. Starting with freshman general biology, I knew the biology major would be the right fit for me and prepare me well for my intended career path. Looking back on my four years of biology courses, one of the reasons I feel so well prepared and knowledgeable in biology is due to the faculty. The small class size, the knowledge, and one-on-one attention that a student can get from the St. Mike's biology faculty are key reasons for the success of my classmates and me.

Research: A perfect example of faculty members caring about student learning would be my senior honors research project. At the end of junior year, I knew I wanted to do a research project. I went to my advisor, Professor Lippert, with an idea that I was really interested in. Being an EMT-Intermediate on Rescue, I had been doing IVs for a decent amount of time and had always been taught sterile technique using isopropyl alcohol. I decided to test the efficacy of 70% isopropyl alcohol as an antiseptic. I wanted to not only quantify the number of bacteria present before and after use of isopropyl alcohol, but also work to identify specific species present as well. This way I could extrapolate the data I collected in the lab to the problem of catheter-related infections and systemic sepsis in the healthcare field, focusing specifically on pre-hospital asepsis and peripheral IV catheter placement. I chose to focus on the antecubital fossa, which is the anterior elbow or "elbow pit," because it is a common site used for peripheral IV placement in acute situations. I combined my passion for rescue with my background in biology to answer a question with a very "real world application." Professor Lippert worked with me to develop the project, gave me advice on techniques, and was very interested to hear about my progress and successes, as well as talk about failures and how to correct them.

Other experience: As a sophomore, I migrated down to the second floor of Cheray and became a general chemistry teaching assistant and in my senior year, I am currently an organic chemistry TA.

Post-graduation plans: After I graduate in May, I am going to be sticking around in the Burlington area and taking a year off from school. I will hopefully be employed in a healthcare related position such as a medical assistant for a year or so. I am going to be taking my MCAT this summer and complete my application for medical school for 2012 admission. .



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