Beyond the Classroom
In addition to challenging course work students have the opportunity to pursue research. Through the University's Undergraduate Research Program UExplore, students can submit proposals for research conducted independently or in collaboration with members of the faculty. The URP provides funding support for projects both during the school year and during the summer. Faculty also help students identify venues for presenting their research results at conferences aimed at undergraduate scholars.
After volunteering at an Evansville emergency room last semester, Michael Murillo knows he is on the right career path. "There is energy in watching physicians and nurses stabilize their patients and solve mysteries as to why the patient came to the ER. I could tell that the physicians cared for their patients. Seeing it all firsthand reinforced my desire to become a doctor."
In the classroom, Michael knows that UE's student-to-professor ratio has been beneficial to his learning style. "With small class sizes, I have been able to get to know my professors. It's hard to express how much their help has meant to me. They have allowed me to talk to them about subject material for long periods of time, and when I have come to their offices asking for clarification, I have never been turned down. Over the past few years, I have realized that speaking to professors about life beyond class not only establishes a friendly relationship, but also shows me that the professors are well rounded. We discuss sports, and I was surprised to find out some of them knew more than I did."
Outside of class, Michael has conducted research with Professor Stamm on demethylase genes in fruit flies. He also participates in intramurals, serves as president of the Biological Sciences Club, and is a member of a social fraternity. "I have had to learn how to balance the demands of my studies with my hobbies and extracurricular activities. While I've always embraced leadership roles, I have gradually learned how to manage a team. Whether it was as team captain of an intramural sport, committee leader in the fraternity, or president of a club, I've learned how to make decisions that best suit the team."
Although he feels that professors and upperclassmen have impacted his UE experience and provided him with advice about medical school applications, the MCAT, and course work, Michael says his favorite experience occurred on the intramural field. "After three years of intramural flag football and early play-off defeats, my team finally won the championship. As the team consisted primarily of science majors, it was great to prove we could do more than just talk about cell division."