Natural Sciences, Individualized Study '09
Megan Herr graduated from Daemen in 2009 with her Bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences. Her academic journey had already taken her through three colleges, and innumerable attempts at finding a career path. From Physical Therapy, to behavioral sciences, to forensic anthropology, Herr ran the gamut of the scientific professions. After deciding on the unique-to-Daemen Natural Sciences Individualized Studies degree, she discovered her passion for epidemiology, the study and prevention of disease.
She was accepted into the University of Rochester’s Ph.D. program in the fall of 2009, with full tuition as her stipend. After a few more years of study and her post-doctoral fellowship, Herr hopes to teach at a college much like Daemen, with small classes and an intimate atmosphere.
What did you like best about the program?
Accessibility of the professors – they keep an open-door policy.
Why did you choose to attend Daemen?
The very simple reason is everyone smiles and is welcoming and interested in what I have to say.
What advice would you give to current students in your program?
Don’t worry that you don’t know what you want to do or where you want to go with your life – you will figure it out eventually and it’s the experiences that you might initially perceive as mistakes that are important.
Did you have an internship during your time at Daemen? Where? How did that experience help you?
I did not have an internship technically through Daemen, I participated in an REU (research experience for undergraduates) funded by the National Science Foundation and was encouraged to apply by the professors at Daemen. I went to Ursinus College to study the effects of forest fragmentation on white-footed mice, and ultimately Lyme Disease (which is what first started my interest in disease).
How did you end up studying epidemiology at the University of Rochester? What drew you to that particular subject?
The Epidemiology program at U of R is actually similar to the set up of Daemen, the program is small – there are about 12 students in my program total (I am one of two first year students), professors are accessible and seem to care about your research and career goals.
I actually took a roundabout route to find Epidemiology. I changed my major four times and my mind a lot more. Once I figured out what I wanted, which was a career involving science, math, and people, I began searching for topics that incorporated those specific areas. I also had a particular interest in disease, whether it was infectious, neurologic, or cancer. I stumbled across Epidemiology as I was looking for grad schools and it fit perfectly with my interests.
What do you hope to do once you graduate? What are your career goals?
Once I graduate, I will have to do a post-doc fellowship (although this won’t occur for another 5 years). Ultimately, I would like to work in academia in a small program.
What was your favorite experience at Daemen?
Winning my GPS at The Price is Right. It was the day after my sister had ACL surgery and we needed something to get our minds off of things, so I brought her along and we had a great time.
What is your lasting memory of Daemen?
The general time spent in 212 – the science lab – just talking to other students and faculty.