Alumni Highlights

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Joanna Sztuba-Solinska

PhD. 2010, Bujarski Lab
Currently employed as Research Fellow
National Institute of Health

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Tina Stanelle

Ph.D. 2013, Duvall and Barber labs

"During my time at NIU I worked in Dr. Duvall's lab extracting DNA from various invasive honeysuckle populations and utilizing microsatellite markers in order to assess its short- and long-distance dispersal. I also worked in Dr. Barber's lab collecting soil samples from several prairie sites at Nachusa Grasslands, which were utilized to inoculate sterile soils, in order to determine the influence of mycorrhizae on plant growth in various stages of prairie restoration.

Since April 2014 I have been the Propagation Laboratory Supervisor of Hark Orchids LP in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and I currently supervise 55 lab associates. Hark Orchids LP is a family-owned company with German roots, which cultivates and produces Phalaenopsis orchids. The in-vitro production consists of several stages, during which many quality inspections need to be performed before the plants get shipped to greenhouses. In our sterile work environment, mutations have to be identified and sorted out, and growth patterns need to be recognized. A lot of attention to detail and quality is necessary for the plant to be sold in stores approximately three years after its production started.

The NIU Biology Department’s many resources helped me toward my career success. During the work with my professors, I gained skills and qualities which I still use today, and I am very thankful for this!

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Phillip Persino

M.S. Human Anatomical Sciences, 2014
Currently at Chicago Medical School

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Sarah Nelson

M.S. 2013, Barber and von Ende Labs

Currently Executive Director of the Barry Conservation District in Barry County, Michigan. 

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Evan Wittke

M.S. 2014, Bode Lab
Currently at Loyola Medical School

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Thurston Kallas

M.S. 2016, Samonds lab

Just accepted into Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine

Start Date: Fall 2016 (July)