When Jon Moran came to Beloit, he knew he liked biology. What he didn’t know is that he could major in it. “I wasn’t confident in my abilities,” he says. Now, the recent graduate heads to medical school with an integrative and medical biology degree. How did he get here? Hard work—and professors’ support.
“I took human biology with Marion Fass,” he remembers. “I didn’t do well at first, but eventually I had a really good grade. Marion told me, ‘If you work hard, you have a knack for this stuff!’” With Marion’s encouragement, Jon declared his major—and never looked back. “When you have professors you know will help, you can do anything,” he says.
Jon found Beloit professors bolstered more than academics. “My advisors were life coaches,” he says. “They taught me things I couldn’t possibly know yet.” They were also accessible—even when far from Beloit. “I’ve emailed professors when they were all over the world,” Jon says, “and they’ve replied within a day.”
Knowing he’d always find support, Jon branched out. He played baseball, was a Resident Assistant, published his senior thesis in The Beloit Biologist, and even found time for a second major, Spanish. His language skills led to another Beloit opportunity: an honors term. During it, Jon recruited Beloit students for ESL tutoring at Stateline Literacy Council. The project improved Jon’s Spanish and strengthened college-community ties. Its final result? “The number of tutors doubled,” Jon says.
While helping the community, Jon also prepared medical school applications. Once again, his advisors were there. “I emailed or called Marion a couple times a week,” he says. “I was studying for the MCATS, applying, handling all the paperwork. She was on sabbatical the entire semester, but she helped with whatever I needed.”
Professors’ support is behind Jon’s favorite thing about Beloit: it helps people grow. “At Beloit, everybody encourages everything you do,” he says. “It’s an environment where you can develop as a person.”
As Jon heads to medical school, he knows he’s in for a challenge. He also knows his liberal arts education is an asset. “Beloit focuses on critical thinking,” he says. “It’s not just memorizing facts and filling in the bubble.” This approach taught Jon that if he does not know an answer, he knows the right questions to ask. “You work with what you do know,” he says. “From there, you solve the problem.” His skills leave him confident that he can handle whatever comes his way. “It’s all about dedication,” he says. “If you work hard, you’re going to make it.”