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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Anna Sandler ’20
Anna Sandler ’20 is currently a Spanish minor but is also considering something new to Lake Forest College: biochemistry and molecular biology. With a number of opportunities on campus, including the chance to do hands-on research with professors in the Richter Scholars Program, Sandler is striving to make the most of her college experience.
Why did you choose Lake Forest College?
“I chose to come to Lake Forest College because it’s a very small school and so, right away, I knew the class sizes would be small, which would allow me to get a much higher-quality education and be much more personalized. I knew I would have access to my professors, since they have office hours and you can just walk right in.”
How have the opportunities here helped shape your college experience?
“Since the College is pretty close to Chicago—it’s just a Metra ride away—I knew that I would have more opportunities than if I went to a big state school. All of these upperclassmen told me about being a Richter Scholar. To me, it was so amazing that at Lake Forest College, the Richter Program is something you can do right after your first year, as long as you maintain a certain GPA.”
What do you think about the sciences at the College and the new Lillard Science Center?
“I think that the science facility will be great. I look at the research we’re running this summer, and I see we have so many high-tech things for a smaller school. In our lab alone, we have a machine that can amplify DNA and determine the size of a certain piece of DNA. We have all of these microscopes that you can use to dissect, and you can look at things using different kinds of dyes.”
What do you want to do in the future?
“I’m thinking of becoming a pharmacist, because I love science and I love science on a very micro scale—like seeing exactly where the chemicals react and how everything is structured. But I also love working with people and helping people. I think being a pharmacist would fit both of those.”
How is Lake Forest College helping you get there?
“The professors are always making sure you’re working toward something to build your resume and you’re never left trying to figure it out alone. In a way, it’s like you’re doing stuff and at the same time you realize, ‘Oh, I’m building my resume and I’m getting experience.’ I think doing research and understanding it is so integral to being able to explain things to a patient. Also, it’s helping me learn to present myself professionally and be more concise when I speak with others.”
How is the Richter program benefitting you?
“My Richter project has been very beneficial to me because it’s in a very small lab. I have easy access to Professor Kirk and I also had a peer mentor who was a few years older who was right by us for the first four weeks. It’s just a matter of conducting the experiment and analyzing it, at this point. We get to design new things and we get to mess with nature and see if we can do something that’s never been done before. That’s the real fun part.”