Lynne Cataldo (MM '12)
High School:Simsbury High School
Major and Graduation Year:"UNH always appealed to me because of the location and the many science programs..."
UNH always appealed to me because of the location and the many science programs and professional societies that it offers. I did a quick search and found out that UNH had an American Society for Microbiology chapter and Pre-Dental Society. I was so impressed when I first came to see the campus with my dad, and I decided right away after having lunch at Holloway commons that this was a school I would love for four years- and I have! It’s also pretty awesome to have the train right on campus so I can visit my friends in Boston.
Unlike many incoming students, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to major in to eventually apply for dental schools. Surprisingly, I ended up switching my major 3 times and I’ll be graduating a semester early. Many thanks in part to my advisors, who guided me on the path that I’m on today. I came in as a general biology major and then to microbiology and biomedical science. I’ve had three excellent advisors who dedicated all the time they could to helping me along the way. I’ve had teachers save me magazine articles, offer to be my research advisors, and recommend me for graduate schools. The Biomedical science faculty and the state-of-the art facilities in Rudman Hall inspired me to pursue the field of medical microbiology.
My favorite class at UNH so far was Pathogenic microbiology with Dr. Rodgers. This course was one of my most challenging and fulfilling science courses I’ve taken, and when it was done I wished that there was a Part 2 in the next semester! It was truly a multidisciplinary course wrapped into one semester, with topics like epidemiology, pathology, and virology. I would not have done as well in the biomedical science courses if I had not received such a strong microbiology foundation from this class my sophomore year.
Dr. Frank Rodgers has been my mentor and professor for the past three years that I’ve known him. He has helped me to collaborate a research project between University of New Hampshire COLSA and the University of Connecticut Dental School. This project allowed me to analyze interactions among oral microorganisms and combine my love of dental science and microbiology. I have never had a teacher who has encouraged me so much to follow my academic interests as Dr. Rodgers has. He cares for all of his students and goes out of his way to stay in his office and answer questions. Even though he is not my academic advisor, he has given me his time and knowledge on countless occasions!
The Undergraduate research conference was a excellent opportunity to see my fellow classmates interests and work outside of the classroom. The UNH U.R.C. is the largest in the country, and I was so happy to be a part of it last year. It was definitely a meaningful experience to network with faculty and students. Some faculty stopped by to suggest further things I could do with my research and opened my eyes to the endless opportunities in research.
The UNH Pre-Dental Society has been an organization I’ve been involved in since my freshman year. It’s an organization that exposes the field of dentistry to other students considering it as a career, while we also strive to improve oral health in the community through educational programs and outreach. Last spring, PDS volunteered at a Mission of Mercy charitable dental clinic which provided a million dollars of free dental care. The leadership experiences that I’ve had in Pre-Dental society will help me to become a well-rounded citizen and a future doctor.