No matter what path a UM-Flint student takes, there's an organization that offers community and development related to their interests. Students in the Department of Natural Sciences are no exception. Comprised of Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Physics, one might imagine this department to be all about long days in the lab and late nights of studying. UM-Flint squashes that myth. With student organizations like the ones highlighted in this article, people can meet ambitious peers, make memories, and partake in new adventures.
"Having a strong bond with lifelong friends carrying the same career interests will take your professional life a long way," Dr. You-shin Chen, Pre-Dental Club faculty advisor said. "Student clubs at UM-Flint are where you find those precious friendships."
Read more about the students who take part in natural sciences-related organizations at UM-Flint.
Society of Physics Students
Associate Professor of Physics James Alsup, faculty advisor for the Society of Physics Students, says that the club is ideal for students to meet people interested in science and becoming scientists after graduation.
"The majority of members have gone on to receive their PhDs in a STEM-based field or are currently working on their PhD," Alsup said. "The Society of Physics Students introduces students to research on campus and general interests."
The club is also known for taking memorable trips. In 2017, students took a camping trip to see the total solar eclipse in Tennessee. They have also visited the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory in Lansing and the Argonne National Lab in Chicago.
To become involved, students can contact James Alsup at firstname.lastname@example.org or SPS president Stephanie Hall.
The Pre-Dental Club unites students who have the same dream: becoming dentists. The club gives tools and opportunities to prepare students for dental school.
According to senior Molecular Biology major and Vice President Grant Young, the club provides many meaningful opportunities.
"The Pre-Dental Club is a tight-knit organization where help is always available. We have a Discord server to reach out to anyone in the group. It is beneficial to stay on track of the dental school journey as an undergraduate," Young said.
As a club member, Young has enjoyed being invited to Genesee District Dental Society events and going out to eat in celebration of one of the club's graduating members.
Pre-Veterinary Medical Association
The Pre-Veterinary Medical Association is the perfect example of how students don't have to wait until graduation to become immersed in their field. The club primarily focuses on students interested in veterinary medicine and hosts activities that can help students gain admission to veterinary school.
According to President and senior Biology/Pre-Veterinary senior Ebonee Walker, the club is also open to those who are interested in the subject.
"We are the future of helping animals feel and look their best! If you love animals, we're the best organization for you. You do not have to have veterinary medicine as a field of study to join," Walker said. "Whether you're trying to get more involved on campus, or you have a fur baby of your own, we welcome you with open arms!"
The group makes sure to incorporate fun activities such as field trips and other group outings. Right now, they are collaborating with other pre-professional organizations to plan their first diversity event, where they will discuss the lack of diversity within medical fields.
The Wildlife Club pulls students away from the classroom and brings them to the great outdoors. This club has returned after a short hiatus and was brought back to life by a group of passionate STEM students.
According to President and senior Wildlife Biology major Megan Horodko, the club prioritizes inclusivity in the outdoors.
"We want to remind our community that the outdoors can be accessible to anyone. This club is a safe and diverse environment for anyone looking to dip their toes into the outdoors for the first time, or for outdoor experts," Horodko said.
The club encourages community involvement to work together to conserve wildlife and ecosystems. Horodko says that many members have formed numerous connections and networked within the biological sciences and wildlife community.
Molecular Biology Club
The Molecular Biology Club is an organization that combines having fun with "fellow bio nerds" and staying up to date on research in the Molecular Biology field.
M.S. in Biology student and Vice President Hayden Norris says that the group is eager to welcome new members.
"In the past, we have been one of the most active and closest groups on campus," Norris said. "We go bowling, go out to eat, volunteer, do fun club activities, do journal clubs, potlucks, and more."
The club makes sure that in addition to hanging out and making memories, students can also have a competitive edge in the field. The club has attended research conferences in and out of state, taken part in fundraising events, hosted research presentations, and explored graduate school opportunities.
The Chemistry Club prides itself on education, networking, and mentorship of the chemistry community–which includes off-campus partners. In 2019, the club collaborated with clubs across the state to create the world's largest periodic table. The club regularly receives the highest level of recognition (Outstanding) from the American Chemical Society.
Club member and senior Biology major Michael Stubbert says that the group is proud of its outreach work in Genesee County. His favorite memory has been presenting at the Super Science Friday event for hundreds of excited middle schoolers.
"Chemistry Club is a great source of scientific networking, volunteer opportunities, and connecting with peers," Stubbert said.
Associate Professor Jessica Tischler explains that being involved with the club is a central part of her work as an educator.
"Being an advisor for the Chemistry Club for the last 20 years has been one of the most rewarding parts of my career. I love sharing my love of all things science and geeky with this amazing group of students," Tischler says. "With great pride, I have watched our students grow, support each other, inspire their community, and become fierce leaders."
Laboratory Manager Monique Wilhelm agrees, stating that watching club members grow brings great meaning to her work.
"Being a co-advisor for the Chem Club has allowed me to pass on to others ways to give back to our community that complement our profession … The best part is I also get to watch them grow as professionals and people."
Those interested in joining the Chemistry Club can contact secretary Ben Wood at email@example.com to be added to the group's email list.
Other Pre-Professional Clubs at UM-Flint
While these featured clubs are affiliated with the Department of Natural Sciences, there are many other STEM and pre-professional clubs for students to choose from. These organizations educate students about their future profession and hold engaging networking opportunities. By visiting Student Involvement and Leadership, you learn about clubs like Pre-Physician Assistant Club, Pre-Physical Therapy Club, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Pre-Medicine Club, Student Nurses Association, and more.
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Katelyn Stuck is a Marketing & Media Assistant with the Office of Marketing & Communications. She is a Communication Studies major.