Alumni Spotlight | UNCG Biology

Biology Alumni Spotlight

Graduates of the Biology Department at UNCG are uniquely qualified for a variety of professional avenues and opportunities. The training and education students receive in the Biology Department includes hands on research and field experience as well as diverse areas of study within the biology curriculum.

Christina Erikson

UNCG Biology Alumnus, Christina EriksonAfter taking an 8-year hiatus from college, Christina Erikson graduated in May 2011 with a BA in Biology and a Concentration in Environmental Biology. She moved to Fairbanks, Alaska later that year to commit further to a long-standing relationship with her now fiancé and to take advantage of the wide range of career opportunities in the state. Actively pursuing the University, she landed a job as a Grant Technician in December 2012 at the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Fairbanks. Her days consist of post-award tracking of funds for one-third of the 70 or so Principle Investigators at the School. She is currently studying to obtain her CRA (Certified Research Administrator) later this Autumn. In the near future, she'll be cross-training in the pre-award area, where she'll assist researchers with writing and submitting proposals. She thoroughly enjoys the work, as well as the flexibility and room for advancement the School offers. Her acknowledgements at UNCG include Meg Horton, Dr. Bruce Kirchoff, and Ann Berry Somers for their support, encouragement and mentorship throughout her last semester of college and beyond. She and her fiancé, Ryan, are expecting their first baby in November 2013.

Vanessa Ajizian (Guy)

UNCG Biology Alumnus, Vanessa AjizianAfter graduation with my Master's in Biology from UNCG, I got a great job at Duke University in the Department of Neurology. I was a research assistant doing linkage analysis of the genetic disease tuberous sclerosis. My master's training at UNCG gave me an amazing skill set to use at my job at Duke. We had DNA samples from entire families that had family members who were effected by a particular neurological disease and we set about to identify the genes. After three years working at Duke, I was accepted into the School of Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill. After four years in Chapel Hill, I completed my pediatric residency training at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. I stayed after my training to work as chief resident and an inpatient hospitalist at Baptist Hospital. In 2006 I accepted a great job in private practice pediatrics! My job at Twin City Pediatrics is the most fun, rewarding, interesting and important career I could have imagined! And, it has continued to surprise and fulfill me year after year. During the path to being a pediatrician, I also became a wife and a mom and have been given the greatest gift of a wonderful and healthy family. Looking back, I can easily and honestly say that without the help of devoted teachers and faculty at UNCG I would have never realized my dreams and potential. I was fortunate to be taught the most up-to-date and relevant science and advised how to reach my goals in a realistic and encouraging environment.

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