Grace Bybee was in between college choices when she received the presidential scholarship, but after coming to visit the campus a second time and meeting with professors, her decision was made. At Briar Cliff, Grace was happy with what she discovered.
"Small schools are just as good as big schools. Going to a smaller college has given me a lot more opportunities to participate in academics, clubs, and on campus jobs that have given me a lot of tools to pursue my future goals. It has also given me the chance to know my professors personally and to get to know other students really well."
Crediting her success to BCU’s professors and rigorous programs, Grace knows she can go to her professors about anything after getting to know her and every student personally.
"They support every student in the class to the best of their abilities and are extremely understanding of what students were going through. I even had some teachers slightly adjust their course curriculums when they knew that all of their students were pursuing similar post graduation goals to be a bit more relevant to what they needed both in class and in the future."
While at BCU, Grace enjoyed working on the Prairie Turnip research projects, first with Dr. Jung and then with Dr. Weber. Having the opportunity to do research in her undergraduate was the motivating factor that helped inspire her to make the decision to pursue research going forward.
"Briar Cliff has given me a ton of opportunities in the classroom and outside of the classroom that helped me to pin down where my interests lie and helped me to choose my path moving forward."
After Briar Cliff University, Grace plans to gain a year or two of experience before applying to return to school and pursue a Ph.D in medical research.
"I have always enjoyed science classes. I find them to be invigorating and rewarding to take. I have always wanted to be able to help other people, but I am not really medical doctor material because I have a hard time interacting with large numbers of strangers everyday. This is why I am choosing to pursue medical research so that I can still fulfill my desire to help people and make a difference without having to interact with a large number of people daily and potentially burn myself out."
"My advice to the next generation of Chargers is to get to know your professors. They are really nice and normally will work with you to the best of their abilities if something comes up. They tend to be your biggest supporters."