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Biology Student Ambassadors

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Lora Holman

Lora Holman, Biology Ambassador 2021-2022

Lora is a biology and mathematics double major for the Bachelor of Science degree who is interested in marine sciences. She has worked for the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies on the coast and has been a teaching assistant for the Anatomy & Physiology course. Lora’s working on her honors thesis studying population genetics of Southern Pine Beetles in the US in the research lab on Dr. Ryan Garrick.

 

Why did you choose to attend UM?
I chose the University of Mississippi because of its renowned biology program and the wonderful community on campus. My sister attended UM (class of 2019) and the university feels like family.

When and why did you choose your major(s)/minors?
I chose my biology major when I was leaving high school. At the time, I wanted to be a premed student, and while that has changed, I am still glad I came to UM as a biology major. I added my mathematics major in the second half of sophomore year because I enjoy the math department and my classes through it so much. I’ve loved math since I was in sixth grade, but I hadn’t considered majoring in it until I got a chance to meet UM’s math professors and explore all of the interesting classes offered in the department.

What are your career goals?
I plan to attend graduate school after graduation to further my education in biology, specifically marine biology. I hope one day to have a PhD in marine sciences and work with an aquarium or perhaps in marine conservation.

Is there a professor who has been particularly helpful to you?
One professor who has been particularly helpful is Dr. Ryan Garrick. Dr. Garrick has been my biology major advisor since my sophomore year, and he is also the professor with whom I am currently doing my honors thesis research. Dr. Garrick has been invaluable in my work for the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and he has spent plenty of time talking to me about my future and how I can decide what I want to do after my four years at UM.

What has been a particularly meaningful way you have engaged in a community—either on or off-campus?
I am the current treasurer for the biological honors society, Beta Beta Beta, on campus. This society was one of the first ways I made friends on campus as a freshman, and I am honored to be serving as an officer for them. Through BBB, I met other people in my major, which was vital to me in the past few years, as I didn’t know anyone coming to Oxford as a freshman.

What do you like to do outside of school (hobbies, interests)?
I love to read and write in my free time. I love mystery novels especially and would love to talk about Agatha Christie with anyone who is interested.

What is your favorite place to eat in Oxford?
First Watch is my favorite place to eat in Oxford. They have amazing breakfast and brunch!

What are some dream travel destinations (and why)?
I have wanted to visit France since I was a middle schooler obsessed with the Eiffel Tower, and I still would love to, as evidenced by the extra French classes I took my sophomore year. I would also love to go to Australia and see the Great Barrier Reef. I’ve never been scuba diving before, but I would love to do so there. I hope to study there one day, or at least visit for fun.

Savannah White

Savanna White, Biology Ambassador 2021-2022

Savannah is a biology major and chemistry minor from Hattiesburg, Mississippi who hopes to eventually study medicine at Meharry Medical College. Currently, Savannah participates in a Toxicology Mentoring Skills Development Training Program and appears on the Dean’s Honor Roll. She is an Ace Scholarship Recipient and works as an external publicist for the UM IMAGE program (Increasing Minority Access to Graduate Education). Savannha is a member of the University of Mississippi American Medical Women’s Association, the Black Student Union and the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and enjoys volunteering at the Oxford Community Market in her spare time.

 

Why did you choose to attend UM?
In addition to the scholarships offered, the University of Mississippi has one of the best biology programs in the state. As a bio premed major Ole Miss was one of my top choices for undergrad. Since my hometown of Hattiesburg is a college town, many students from there choose to go to the University of Southern Mississippi; I was one of the outliers. While I love my hometown, I wanted to expand my horizons which made the decision to attend the University of Mississippi a top choice on my college list.

When and why did you choose your major(s)/minors?
I decided on a biology major around middle school. Learning about the different components of the human body intrigued me; this contributed to my decision to pursue medicine. Knowing what biological elements help humans to survive as a species is an interest that has held fast through high school and into college.

What are your career goals?
Since a young age, I have wanted to pursue medicine but it was not until recent years before I decided on emergency medicine. Not only am I attracted to the fast-paced environment, but the variety of cases that may enter the emergency department. Ultimately, I aspire to become an emergency room physician.

Is there a professor who has been particularly helpful to you?
Without a doubt, Professor Ashleen Williams has been one of the most helpful instructors I have had so far. As a first-gen college student she has been an invaluable resource for advice in both my studies and life.

What has been a particularly meaningful way you have engaged in a community—either on or off-campus?
In November 2020, I had the opportunity to help pack Thanksgiving meals for those in need at the Oxford Community Market. As someone who has experienced financial hardships for nearly my entire life, being able to help those who are in similar situations gave me a sense of fulfillment.

What do you like to do outside of school (hobbies, interests)?
Since I’m also an artist, when I’m not working on assignments, I usually can be found sketching, painting with oil paints, or writing poetry. I’m also a fan of mysteries and the paranormal so when I’m not doing art, I’m reading up on things of that nature.

What are some dream travel destinations (and why)?
Puerto Rico and Japan for separate reasons. Before COVID, I was booked to take a trip to Japan in the summer of 2020 but this had to be cancelled. This devastated me as Japan was somewhere I have always wanted to visit due to its beautiful culture and gorgeous scenery. As for Puerto Rico, the reasoning behind my desire to go there is similar but slightly different. My grandfather who has traveled countless places over the years always told me the one place he wished he could go back to would be Puerto Rico. This is a trip I hope to be able to take with him one day.

Abby Sartin

Abby Sartin

An honors student, Abby is earning the BA in Biological Science. She is also working with the Health Professions Advising Office on her plans for medical school.

 

Why did you choose to attend UM?
I actually drew UM out of a hat. I had narrowed down my choices but was having so much trouble deciding so I put three in a hat and drew out UM. I have fallen in love with the beautiful campus and the incredible people here so I am so happy with my unconventional way of getting to this incredible school!

When and why did you choose your major(s)/minors?
I have known for a really long time that I wanted to go into the medical field and probably go to medical school. I’ve also always really loved science and biology has been my favorite area of study so it just made sense to major in biology.

What are your career goals?
I want to work as a doctor of radiology and I want to specialize in pediatrics!

What will be your legacy at UM?
When I leave UM I want to know that I had a positive impact on those around me! I want to be involved in the community on and off campus and I want to benefit the community that takes in such a large amount of students every year and leave it better than I found it!

What has been a particularly meaningful way you have engaged in a community – either on or off-campus?
Through my sorority Alpha Delta Pi, I have had the opportunity to fundraise for Ronald McDonald House Charities and will hopefully get the opportunity to volunteer directly for their organization! I love being able to help the families in need through RMHC and it’s really meaningful to me that it relates to work I want to do in the future!

What do you like to do outside of school (hobbies, interests)?
Currently I have really been into painting and making fun jewelry, and reading, and cooking!

What are you binge watching/reading/listening to?
My current playlist consists of girly throwbacks and I have been loving it!

 

Arma'Rosa Wilks-Mohead

Arma Rosa Mohead

After Arma’Rosa earned an Associate of Arts degree in Pre-Medical Sciences, she came to The University of Mississippi to major in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Neuroscience. She hopes to later get her masters in Molecular Biology and ultimately attend medical school at UM. Currently, Arma’Rosa is working under Ph.D. candidate Belinda Bagwandeen to study how protein supplementation affects growth rate and other factors in zebra finches. She has worked as an office assistant for the sociology and anthropology department, as well as for the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Arma’Rosa is a member of the Knitting Club, the Robotics Club, the Beekeeper Club, and the Black Student Union, and also is a member of Tri Beta and Gamma Beta Phi Honor Societies.

 

Why did you choose to attend UM?
I wanted to attend the University of Mississippi because as a youth, I participated in a lot of the outreach programs that the institution offered! I loved the sense of family you get when you walk on campus. The professors seemed to really care for each individual student’s academic success. It also helped that the campus has a ton of eating options!

When and why did you choose your major(s)/minors?
I chose my major because I love life! Biology is literally the study of life! I enjoy labs and doing science experiments as a high school student! My mom used to buy me Biology and Chemistry project kits for my Birthday and Christmas!  I gained the love of medicine from watching my mother take care of my elderly bedridden grandmother.

What are your career goals?
I hope that my last degree is a MD/PhD. With that degree I hope to practice medicine as a physician scientist at a research hospital.

What will be your legacy at UM?
I hope that when I graduate that I have impacted the lives of the youth, fellow peers and professors that I came into contact with during my time as an undergraduate. Whether it was from me tutoring, mentoring, internships, or jobs. I want to leave them.

Is there a professor who has been particularly helpful to you?
Yes!!! Dr. Day Dr.Day Dr.Dayyyy!!!! She has been the best professor ever in the Biology department! She goes above and beyond when it comes to her teaching her undergrad students! She treats her undergraduate students and graduate students as equals!

What do you like to do outside of school (hobbies, interests)?
I love going to the gym, cooking and playing with my dogs! Nothings better than coming home from classes to play with your excited dog!

What is your favorite place to eat in Oxford?
I love insomnia cookies! They are open until 3am and they accept ole miss express, so when you’re studying late or want something sweet to eat, I always go there! For real food, I love Rice and Spice!! I recommend the yellow chicken curry, 3 spice level, with the thai fried rice.

What are some dream travel destinations (and why)?
I want for my mother and I to travel the world like Anthony Bourdain in search of the best cuisine; like he did on his show Parts Unknown:Anthony Bourdain.