From the moment I drove down College Ave and into campus as a visiting high school senior, I knew Michigan Tech was the place for me. I’m from the metro Detroit area, so of course I considered those other “blue” and “green” Michigan schools. But it was love at first sight when I met the distinctive Black & Yellow, and felt the warm embrace of the city of Houghton. I visited over a weekend for the Leading Scholars competition, and was amazed by how warm, friendly, and welcoming everyone was—students, faculty, and community members alike. One visit was all it took—I was hooked!

I’m in my third year studying biomedical engineering and plan to attend medical school upon graduation. The educational opportunities I’ve experienced here have been truly amazing. In addition to small class sizes, expert and available professors, and fellow students with a genuine “team” outlook, my true passion has been realized by working in MTU research labs. During my first year I worked in a Biomedical Engineering lab culturing cells. (Where else can you do that as a freshman?!) For the past two years, I’ve been a research assistant in the Clinical and Applied Human Physiology Lab in the biological sciences department, working on several grant projects. Our project involving long-distance runners has just been accepted for presentation in San Diego this April at the Experimental Biology Conference. California, here I come!

Academic excellence is, of course, why we all chose MTU. But it’s the friendships I’ve made, the community I’ve served, and the experiences I’ve had that have helped me grow as a person and create confidence in myself and excitement for my future. Among all of these things are Greek life and my decision to join Alpha Xi Zeta Sorority. I am an only child and deciding to move over 500 miles away from my family was a big change for me! Gaining an amazing group of women as my sisters has given me the comfort and support of a family, celebrating the ups together and helping me through the downs. I am also a sweetheart of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, and hold this friendship with the brothers dear to my heart.

Greek life has also taught me to consider what’s best for the group above myself, and valuable ways to approach confrontation. I have utilized these lessons while holding different positions within Alpha Xi Zeta—treasurer, recruitment chair, and ritualist—and as the MTU Pan-Hellenic president. I was recently initiated into Order of Omega, a Greek honor society, and look forward to serving MTU’s Greek life and bonding through mutual fraternal friendship.

I have always been active in volunteer work, and love that MTU encourages students to get involved with community service across the Keweenaw Peninsula. Volunteering to tutor local middle school students through MTU’s Gear Up program, socializing new and shy dogs at the Copper Country Humane Society, and visiting with patients at Portage Health’s Dialysis Center are some of the opportunities that I have taken while at MTU to continue volunteering my time for others.

Building giant snow statues, chanting and cheering at hockey games, snow volleyball, human bowling, competing for the best beard, dog sled rides, and dancing in the middle of campus during All Nighter; this is how we celebrate winter! Most college students would say that their favorite part of spring semester is Spring Break. But for me, nothing can beat Winter Carnival. As a student body, a university, and a Keweenaw Community we come together to take a breath and recognize the beauty around us.

This founding concept in itself is my favorite part about Carnival because I believe that it mimics the one-of-a-kind Michigan Tech college experience. I am grateful to have been selected as one of the top eight candidates for Winter Carnival 2014 Queen, and would be honored to represent the MTU student body as the Winter Carnival 2014 Queen. A special thank you to my sponsors Celebrations Bridal & Formal, Alpha Xi Zeta Sorority and Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.