Student Profile: Rachel Burckhardt
Scientists have estimated 50 to 75 trillion cells make up the human body, but Rachel Burckhardt ’13 can find even more reasons why biology is the right major for her.
The Waterford senior’s soft spot for the small things is anything but microscopic.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on at the cellular level that you don’t realize is happening, and I find it interesting to see how all the little workings of a cell make up a person,” she says.
This past summer, Burckhardt and another student did biological research with Tim Keeton, associate professor of biology. Their goal was to determine the frequency of antibiotic-resistant genes along a drainage ditch.
“I liked coming to the lab, working with the equipment, and not knowing what results I was going to get,” she says. “Science is about finding the unknown and solving problems that have no answer, and that’s why I like it so much.“
Burckhardt, an English minor, is involved in the Catholic Students Organization, Alpha Phi Omega, ACCESS mentoring, PRISM mentoring, International Club, Sigma Tau Delta, the Interfaith Relations Committee and theatre.
“Don’t be afraid to talk to people,” says Burckhardt. “In high school, I was the quietest person ever, but here, I talk to everyone. I went from being a scared freshman to having tons of friends and finding a home at Alma.”