Q & A with Dr. Amstutz-Szalay

This past Friday I sat down with one of my biology professors, Dr. Amstutz-Szalay, to ask her a few questions concerning the bio department. (Some of this is a paraphrased because I didn’t bring in anything to record. Forgive me for being unprofessional!)

Q: What advice would you have for high school seniors trying to find a school?

A: Go on visits. Make sure you talk to the faculty. Sometimes you feel a vibe and you just know where you fit. Make sure you talk to other students, too.

Q:  How would you advise someone who is interested in the sciences in general to narrow their choice down to one major, not knowing what s/he might want to do upon graduating from college?

A: During your first year take different science classes in courses you’re interested in. A lot of the biology students pair biology with chemistry or physics. Think of what you want to do career-wise. Make sure you look at internships, and talk to upperclassmen about their experiences.

Q: What’s the strongest aspect of the biology department here at Muskingum?

A: It’s the focus we place on career development. We even have 1 credit hour seminar classes where we focus specifically on career development.

Q: How many students are you advising right now?

A: About 40 because of FYS (first year seminar).  Once they declare majors, I’ll have about 19. I meet with those in FYS a few times a week, but as for the rest, it depends on their needs. At least a couple of times a semester.

Q: What have some of your students gone on to do?

A: Vet school, medical school, physical therapy. One student got recently got hired at a hematology lab at Case Western. The majority of my students go on with their schooling.

Q: Are there any opportunities to work in the bio department?

A: We have a few work-study programs. Students can work in the stockroom, the greenhouse, and with the animals. We also have research opportunities. Most faculty are working on their own project and try to involve students as much as possible.

There you have it. While Dr. Szalay is currently in between research projects, I know another professor, Dr. Dooley, is planning on researching birds at The Wilds during the summer. Anyway, hoped this gave you some brief insight into the biology department.Have a great week!

-Devin

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