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Jenny's Beloit

Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.

Majors: Chemistry and French

What she wants to do with that: Become a doctor with Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian organization that provides medical aid to underserved places

Why “chemistry and French” works at Beloit: You think that’s a weird major combination, but then you talk to anyone here on campus and they have combinations that seem just as strange, but that make sense for them.

Why no two chemistry majors (or any majors!) are alike: At Beloit, a major isn’t something that just consists of 10 courses. You shape what you want your education to be. I have friends that are chemistry majors, and we’re all doing completely different things with those majors.

How Jenny took her passions out of the classroom and into the world: I studied abroad in Martinique, which is in the French Antilles. I wanted to do something French that would help my French-speaking abilities, but I didn’t want to go to France. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. Martinique was a part of the world I wasn’t familiar with.

How she got the most out of it (culturally): I was in classes with all Martiniquean students, I was living with a host family, and it was as if I was living there. I was just there trying to live that life and assimilate as well as I could, and really try to understand a personal connection, a person-to-person level, what it meant to be Martiniquean.

How she got the most out of it (academically): I wanted to plan a project I could to do to tackle my study abroad experience, to get something deeper out of it. I was looking at the reemergence of nontraditional medicine on the island. It really helped me meet people in a different way. I talked to pharmacists, I talked to local people, about this really innovative stuff being done around plant-based medicine.

[Jenny G]On her completely different research experience in Chicago: I got an internship through Beloit’s Biomedical Scholars program. You get to join any university in Chicago and have a mentor there. Beloit pays for it all, and gives you a stipend to do it. I was with Rush University, working in a parasitology lab on research for schistisomiasis, which is the second most prevalent parasitic disease after malaria.

Why opportunities like Jenny’s are common at Beloit: There are so many ways to take your major out of the classroom, beyond what you expected. It surprises you all the time. Beloit isn’t a school that’s stagnant. It’s constantly flowing and transforming and there are new things coming in and out all the time.