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Undergraduate Programs

BMB features: Caitlan Surgeon

Image of Caitlan SurgeonThe Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department is proud to be called home to some of the most outstanding undergraduate students in higher education.  These students display a high level of dedication, not only in furthering their education but in their desire to be on the frontlines of scientific discovery.  

Meet Caitlan Surgeon, a senior from North Lauderdale Florida majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology option.  

Caitlan, a first-generation college student, knew she wanted to attend college outside the state of Florida.  When asked why she chose Penn State she commented, “my mother and I attended a seminar for Penn State and we both fell in love with the school and everything it had to offer.”  

Throughout her undergraduate career Caitlan has shown how to be successful in the classroom, in the lab, and in the Penn State community.  She has served as a Residence Assistant (5 semesters) in Pollock Halls as well as a Student Manager/Scheduler within the North Dining Hall.  She has held the role of part-time teaching assistant for the Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II laboratory courses (2 semesters) and has served as an undergraduate research assistant in Professor of Kinesiology and Human Development & Family Studies David Conroy’s Motivation Lab (6 semesters).  Caitlan has also engaged in the study abroad program where she studied in New Zealand and Australia and learned about indigenous culture through visual arts.  Additionally, for the Marvel fans among us, she sits on the e-board for the Marvel Club “Students of S.H.I.E.L.D”.

While growing up, science always topped Caitlan’s list of favorite subjects.  Her interest in science, combined with her love of the human body, led her desire for a career in the healthcare industry.  When deciding on her major Caitlan said, “biochemistry and molecular biology sparked my interest because we never really went into detail on how the world works on a molecular level in middle and high school.  I wanted to learn something new.”

Caitlan will be graduating this spring (2020) and plans to take a year to prepare herself for the next phase of her academic career.  At that time, she intends to apply to a combined BSN/MSN 3-year nursing program.  After obtaining her master degree in nursing Caitlan hopes to continue her career in the healthcare industry as a Certified Nurse MidWife.