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Why Biology at Albright?

The Biology Major

Faculty

Outcomes

Facilities and Equipment

Courses

ACES Scholarships

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OUTCOMES

The goal of the Biology Department is to engender a comprehensive knowledge of and appreciation for the many dimensions of the biological sciences. We emphasize the close relationship of biology to other scientific disciplines, such as mathematics, chemistry and physics, and also stress the importance of biology in society and within the historical liberal arts tradition.

Albright Biology students learn:

  1. General scientific skills, including a.) hypothesis formulation and experimental design, b.) data recording and analysis, c.) communication/dissemination (writing, oral, PowerPoint), d.) comprehension and context of experimental results, e.) information assessment, and f.) experimental manipulation.
  1. Specific lab skills, including a.) assays/instrumentation/sample processing, b.) microscopy (imaging), c.) molecular techniques, d.) dissection, e.) aseptic techniques, f.) measurements/pipetting.
  1. Specific field skills, including a.) population sampling, b.) surveying (biotic and abiotic), c.) cartography/Geographic Information Systems, d.) observation techniques, and e.) identification.
  1. Content, including a.) evolutionary theory, b.) hierarchy of biological organization, c.) physiological mechanisms/principles, d.) genetics/inheritance, e.) cellular processes, f.) micro/macrostructure, g.) ecological principles, h.) mechanisms of gene expression/regulation, i.) philosophy of nature (the environment), j.) quantitative reasoning, k.) scientific processes and history of science l.) behavior, m.) reproduction and development.

Students who major in biology and related areas have a  variety of professional and career paths to consider:

  • Ecologist
  • Physician
  • Biotechnologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Laboratory research technician
  • Teacher
  • Clinical laboratory scientist
  • Graduate school
  • Dentist
  • Physical therapist
  • Environmental specialist

In addition, Albright enjoys special affiliations and agreements with Penn State University (via the Early Assurance Program with Hershey Medical School) and regional schools of clinical laboratory science (for medical technology).

 

photoJillian Bonitatibus '11
Wetland wildlife intern, Hudsonia Ltd., Albany, N.Y.

“My experience at Albright was one of a kind. The atmosphere was friendly, and there were always plenty of activities to get involved with on campus. I owe much of my success to the Biology faculty at Albright. The small class sizes and close, personal relationships I formed with professors helped me gain confidence and curiosity in my studies.”


Mike Goffredo '08

Mike photoScience teacher, Sterling High School, Somerdale, N.J.

“I graduated with a degree in biology and began my career as a biotechnologist in the Department of Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Currently I am a high school biology teacher in New Jersey, and I must give credit where credit is due. I owe my interests, skill sets and successes in the science field to the thorough education I received from Albright’s Biology Department. Their hands-on curriculum and access to project-based learning will continue to prepare future science students for careers within the broad field of science.”

Chris Hauer '12
Graduate student, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, Pa.

photo“Upon my first visit to campus during my senior year of high school, I immediately knew that Albright College would be my home for the next four years. I was drawn to Albright’s small classes, strong academics and welcoming community. Being a liberal arts college, Albright exposed me to a variety of disciplines and perspectives that shaped me into a well-rounded individual. Albright provided me with the opportunity to get involved both on- and off-campus through a number of clubs, academic organizations and community service projects as well. As the president of the ultimate Frisbee club and Tri Beta Biological Honor Society, I gained valuable leadership and organizational skills. In my three years as a peer orientation person (POP), I was able to share my love of Albright with incoming students in providing them with a welcoming community and assisting them with the transition to college life.

“Of all of my experiences while attending Albright, I am particularly grateful for my time spent in the Biology Department. What initially struck me was the willingness of the professors to provide individualized attention. Their office doors were always open and they were happy to take time to answers any questions and review assignments. Unlike at a larger university, where research may take precedence, it was obvious that Albright’s biology professors were deeply committed to teaching and the well-being of their students. The department offers a variety of courses across the disciplines of cellular/molecular biology, evolution and ecology that provided me with a broad biological background. I was exposed to a variety of lab/field techniques and was constantly being presented with new and often challenging ideas/topics. Looking back now, I am thankful for all of the challenging moments and difficult assignments. One particular example quickly comes to mind. During my junior year, I took Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a course in which I never was really able to grasp the concepts (Dr. Mech can attest to this!). Although I struggled with it at the time, I now am proficient with GIS and use the software on a regular basis for my graduate research. Through collaborative research and lab projects, I had the opportunity to fine-tune my scientific writing, oral presentation and communication skills as well. For three years I also served as a laboratory assistant for several general biology courses. I enjoyed this experience as I was able to interact with the professors outside of the typical classroom setting while at the same time working with other students in building their own writing and laboratory skills.

“I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Stephen Mech on an ACRE [Albright Creative Research Experience] research project that culminated in a senior honor’s thesis. Given our similar research interests, I approached Dr. Mech during my junior year to see if he was interested in working with me. He mentioned a potential study examining the impacts of wind turbines on terrestrial small mammals, which at the time sounded like a great idea. One field season, hundreds of trapped mice, and countless mosquito bites later, we had ourselves a preliminary study. As an undergraduate, I never envisioned having the opportunity to see a study through from start to finish; from developing and implementing a thorough study design, to locating field sites, applying for funding, determining appropriate statistical analyses, before finally writing a summary report. Following the completion of my project, I also had the opportunity to present my research at several local and national conferences, allowing me to network with fellow students and researchers. I am especially grateful for my ACRE research as this experience has helped me immensely while working towards my master’s degree. Through my research, I acquired many valuable skills and an appreciation for the dedication required for a successful research project.

“I really cannot say enough positive things about Albright’s Biology Department. The professors are very knowledgeable and approachable, and I have established close relationships with many of them. Through my coursework and ACRE research, I gained countless skills and valuable experiences that have greatly prepared me for graduate school.”