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Emily Tillmaand, M.D./Ph.D. Student
Neuroscience and Medical Scholars Programs
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Emily Tillmaand

The great thing about studying the sciences at John Carroll University was that I was surrounded by a support network of professors and classmates who got to know me, understood my goals, and pushed and challenged me to succeed. No matter where I was, whether it was in Dr. Waner’s physical chemistry course, Dr. Lissemore’s molecular genetics class, or Dr. Nichols’ organic chemistry lab, the atmosphere was one of both intense study and extreme enjoyment.

At John Carroll, I was given the tools that were needed in order for me to think critically and scientifically about a problem and then I was expected to use those tools both in the classroom and in the lab. One of the most important, yet daunting, tasks as a student is to learn how to read and write scientifically. However, in the small classroom setting, the early incorporation of primary literature, the guidance given while writing those first lab reports, and the expertise developed through upper level courses such as Dr. Mascotti’s biochemistry III class, made my transition into the work world and, subsequently, upper level education nearly flawless.

I was also provided with the opportunity to gain valuable hand-on experience and understanding using John Carroll’s modern laboratory space and instrumentation and by working in research labs, both at John Carroll and the Cleveland Clinic’s Learner Research Institute.

The strong academic base with which I was provided, the major research opportunities in which I took part, and the support and guidance that I received from the John Carroll community have allowed me to confidently pursue both a Ph.D. and an M.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I will forever be grateful for my experience at John Carroll, both in the sciences and beyond, which has helped to shape the direction of my life.