Kaegan Held

Kaegan Held (’23) has found various successes in the biology department at Briar Cliff University and encourages others to never doubt their own ability.

“I am so thankful for the experiences that I have had here at BCU, especially in the biology department,” Kaegan says. “I feel like I have had many opportunities to grow in my major and grow as an individual.”

Majoring in biology with a minor in business administration, Kaegan is a biology course mentor and recently presented research on The Mechanism of Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Prairie Turnip Extracts Component M11 with two other students at the 45th West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research (WCBSUR) Conference.

Other important classes and experiences during Kaegan's time at BCU began with Dr. Jung, who has allowed her to feel more inspired about and prepared for her future career path.

“I am so grateful for the experiences and knowledge Dr. Jung has given me, which have allowed me to be confident as a woman in the science field,” she says. “I feel like the support here on campus is unmatched when compared to other universities.”

Another part of Kaegan’s support system is her fellow basketball teammates and coaches. The women's basketball program, along with proximity to her hometown of Leigh, Nebraska, were some of the biggest reasons she chose BCU.

“I had a good feeling about the campus and the people from the moment I took my first visit,” Kaegan says. “I loved the small campus and I knew I would be able to grow friendships and make memories here right away. I am so glad I chose Briar Cliff and these last four years have flown by.”

Kaegan was recently accepted into veterinary school as part of the 2 + 2 program for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Iowa State University (ISU). Upon graduation, she will attend UNL for two years starting in the fall of 2023 and will complete the program after two additional years at ISU.

“I am so glad that I chose to pursue a career in the science field,” says Kaegan. “There are so many opportunities in this field for women today, which hasn't always been the case. The biggest lesson I have taken away from BCU is to never doubt your own ability. This lesson has made me successful through my major and has led me to success in my future in science so far.”