Seven Students Receive Top Biology Student Award

Congratulations to the 2011-2012 Top Biology Student Award Winners

Seven biology students were honored for their outstanding performance in biology core courses on Friday, September 07, 2012 and shared their secret to success with students in the BIOL 10700 Freshman Experience in Biological Sciences class. Several honorees including Laure Pazik, Carolyn Brunt, and Raymond Davis received this award in previous years.

Rebecca Tiemens

Rebecca Tiemens

2011-2012 Top Biology Student in BIOL 10100 Introductory Biology I

“My advice for the freshmen students was to attend class every day, study for tests and quizzes, and not to be afraid to ask for help when it is needed.”


Ashley Schmal

Ashley Schmal

2011-2012 Top Biology Student in BIOL 10200 Introductory Biology II

“First I want to thank Dr. Creighton for making every class enjoyable and making learning fun. My “secret to success” is always doing the assignments and readings before tests and quizzes as well as giving myself plenty of time to study and not waiting last minute.  Also attending every class, but most importantly taking pride in my studies.”


Matthew Radencic

Matthew Radencic

2011-2012 Top Biology Student in BIOL 24300 Cell Biology

“One tip for being successful in college is always keeping up with the pace of the class.  It is very hard to catch back up after falling behind.  Internalizing and understanding the information in the class helped me not only for Cell Biology but for other classes as well.  Information in one biology class is often relevant for a future biology class.  Finally, know the most efficient and effective way to study.  Many people learn different ways, and finding out when and how to study was a great help.”


Lauren Pazik

Lauren Pazik

2011-2012 Top Biology Student in BIOL 24400 Genetics
2010-2011 Top Biology Student in BIOL 10200 Introductory Biology II

“My secret to success basically begins with staying motivated.  It is important to stay focused throughout the semester and set goals for yourself in order to be successful.  Also, never be afraid to ask for help! Ask questions in class, most of the teachers are more than willing to help you because they get to talk more about a subject they love.  Also, go to the SI sessions, even when you think you may not need any help.  The SI leaders have taken the class before and excelled in it, so they know the ins and outs of the teacher and the exams and know exactly how to help you succeed.  Finally, do not feel like you have to go through the class alone.  Make sure you have at least two or three people you can study with to help contribute different perspectives on the material.  I know that whenever I did not understand something, one of my friends did and found a way to explain it to me that was different from how it was presented in class.”


Carolyn Brunt

Carolyn Brunt

2011-2012 Top Biology Student in BIOL 31600 Basic Microbiology
2010-2011 Top Biology Student in BIOL 24300 Cell Biology & BIOL 24400 Genetics

“My secret to success is attending every class session. Through constant exposure to the material in the classroom, a student receives a more thorough acquisition and a longer-lasting retention of the presented information. By actively listening to the instructor, a student can readily gather the subject areas that he or she should focus on and then concentrate on these specific areas while preparing for examinations. This advance knowledge of “what to study” greatly assists in a student’s time management. Attending lectures also improves a student’s retention of material. Professors do not read off power point slides, but create an active learning environment by writing on the board, by asking discussion questions, and by integrating stories or jokes into the lessons. These actions can be used as mnemonic tools to enable students to more readily recall the information when needed.  Classroom attendance also enables a student to pose questions about the presented material, upcoming assignments, etc. without having to make an appointment to meet with a professor. After three years of college, I know that my daily attendance at my classes has greatly benefited me and my knowledge of biology.”


Theodore Hiemstra

Theodore Hiemstra

2011-2012 Top Biology Student in BIOL 33300 Ecology

“Academic success is measured by grade point averages and the overall performance of a student. A good academic standing can be obtained by anyone willing to work hard, follow directions, and comply with assignment deadlines. In order to succeed, however, students must discern themselves from others and be outstanding or recognizable in some way. As a Junior I have had several years to develop and modify a simple, three-step strategy that has been germane to my success. My strategy begins with always having an attainable goal in mind. Goals help to improve focus and determination and they provide a sense of accomplishment, ultimately boosting self-esteem and academic confidence. Next is to practice a lifestyle of balance and symmetry.  Dividing time among a variety of activities (i.e. responsibilities, sports, or academic clubs) can be very stimulating and can help decrease the onset of apathy. This idea of balance can be paralleled to order, organization, and even sanity. The final element of my three-step strategy refers to the concept of projection and individuality. Be unique. Be recognized. Show confidence and pride in your principals and stand up for your morals, regardless of what others think. “


Raymond Davis

Raymond Davis

2011-2012 Top Biology Student in BIOL 35700 Animal Physiology
2010-2011 Top Biology Student in BIOL 31600 Basic Microbiology
2009-2010 Top Biology Student in BIOL 10100 & 10200 Introductory Biology I & II

“The top Animal Physiology student award means a lot to me. It reflects my dedication to learning and my desire to always better myself.  The key to my academic success, other than the massive amount of time I spend studying, is that I know how I learn.  I am a very visual learner, so when I read I try to connect the text to a picture, graph, or diagram. Online videos and quizzes of the material either provided by the instructor or found by one’s self, make studying more engaging and less trivial. But my greatest key to academic success is to put the subject material in my own language.  I know when I have learned a subject when I can accurately teach it to someone who is not taking the course. “