Biology Careers & GC Outcomes

Student Summer Activities

Our students did some amazing things during the summer, here is a slice of their activities in biology:


  • Community Cleaning Water Project (CCWP), Goshen College, Valentin Calvillo & Bella Torres, summer 2017.
  • Compositional study of local-ecotype prairie restoration at Hesston College, Nat Dick, summer 2017.
  • Tallgrass prairie grazing project and wetland project at Merry Lea, Joshua Garcia, summer 2017.
  • Tallgrass prairie grazing at Goodrich prairie Gabriel Eisenbeis, summer 2017
  • Mosquito populations and disease prevalence in Elkhart County, Isaac Godshalk, summer 2017.
  • Tagging unc-53 with GFP in C. elegans using CRISPR/Cas9, Simon Weaver, Joel Gerig, summer 2017.
  • Sponge, lobster, and crab research with Old Dominion University in the Florida Keys, Cody McCoy, Reena Ramos, summer 2017.
  • Therapeutic effects of natural compounds on cadmium-induced prostate cancer, University of Louisville NCI R25 Cancer Education Program, Sophie Sears, summer 2016.
  • Gastric cancer research at the IU School of Medicine, Kate Crawford, summer 2016
  • Algaetown research project, Goshen College, Morgan Cantron, summer 2016
  • Ant, fire, and elephant research in Kenya, Geoff Miller, Jess Raffel, Ben Wiebe, Reena Ramos, summer 2016.
  • Optimizing the Cellular Thermal Shift Assay to Validate Target Engagement in Cancer Drug Development, Jacob Roth, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), summer 2016, summer Intern Poster Day – Honorable Mention
  • Prairie grazing project and Bird Banding internship at Merry Lea, David Bontrager, summer 2016.
  • Shadowed therapists in a physical therapy center.  Was able to have an up-close view of the inner workings in this private clinic and learn much more about the whole field, Molly Zook, summer 2016
  • Fish shocking and monitoring stream health in Elkhart and South Bend counties, Grant Flaming, summer 2016.
  • Sponge, lobster, and crab research with Old Dominion University in the Florida Keys, Morgan Short, Benjamin Wiebe, summer 2016

NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

  • Effects of biological and physical structure on forest productivity, Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region REU at University of Michigan Biological Station, Mark Kreider, summer 2017.
  • Integrating Local Knowledge: A Community Based Framework for Researching Flooding and Disaster Management in Hopkins, Belize, REU at University Central Florida, Brenner Burkholder, summer 2017.
  • Biology Education Research REU at the University of Georgia, David Jantz, summer 2016.
  • Generalist insect herbivory and plant defense traits, REU at UC Davis, Jacob Penner, summer 2016.

Projects, Leadership & Campus Initiatives

  • Applied to be a Bicycle Friendly University, installed (soon!) a bicycle repair station on campus, Nat Dick, spring 2016.


  • 2016 IAS conference and presented on Algaetown’s research involving our unique photobioreactor design, David Jantz, Brenner Burkholder.
  • 2016 IAS conference in Indianapolis and presented on our D3 research: “Combinatorial Synthesis of Candidate Antibiotics” Jacob Roth.


  • Internship at Promega Corporation in Madison, Wisconsin (biotech company). Simon Weaver, Automating high-throughput nucleic acid purification and processing, summer 2017.
  • Mosquito population density and diversity between Goshen and Merry Lea study with Andy Ammons as part of Maple Scholars. Bridgette Web, summer 2017.
  • Bird banding internship at Merry Lea, Hannah Thill & David Jantz, summer 2017.
  • Fish electroshocking and population surveying with the City of Elkhart, Geoff Miller, summer 2017.
  • A natural history study of Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy type 2A in an Amish community (with the Clinic for Special Children, Strasburg, Pennsylvania), Caleb Liechty, summer 2017.
  • Laboratory technician internship in Agdia, Elkhart, Lisette Bermudez, summer 2017.
  • WPP (Woody Perennial Polyculture) internship at Merry Lea, Gabriel Eisenbeis & Jess Raffel, summer 2017.
  • Internship at Trinity Western University in Dr. Stringham’s genetics lab,  investigating the possible effects of mutations in the gene unc-73 on endosomal trafficking in C. elegans, Jordan Shields, summer 2017.



Goshen College Alumni Outcomes

In August of 2014, we emailed students who graduated within the last 5 years from our department and asked them what they were doing. Here are all their responses:

Health-related Activities & Molecular Biology Research

  • James Garcia ’17 – MD program at Washington Univ. in St. Louis, MO
  • Brianne Brenneman ’17 – MS program in Public Health at University of Michigan
  • Sophie Sears ’17- PhD program in Molecular Pharmacology, University of Louisville
  • Laura Krabill ’12- Dental School- Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine
  • Rebekah Steiner ’13 – Molecular Biology Graduate Program – University of Basel
  • Matthew Glick ’14 – Medical Student – Indiana University School of Medicine (Indianapolis)
  • Jana (Beitler) Yoder ’13 – Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program – Chatham University
  • Alita Yoder Funk ’13 – Master’s of Nursing Program, DePaul University
  • Hyuntaek Guan ’14 – Doctorate of Pharmacy program – Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Emily Fretz ’14 – Medical Student at Saint Louis University
  • Michael Fecher ’12 – Indiana University School of Medicine (now in my 3rd year)
  • Jing Jin ’12 – Biochemistry and Cell Biology Graduate Program, Rice University
  • Erin Suderman ’09 – Molecular Biosciences Program, University of Kansas
  • Jesse Yoder ’09 – Program in Molecular Biophysics, Johns Hopkins University
  • Daniel Driver ’12 – Indiana University School of Medicine (3rd year)
  • Kathryn Schlabach Bachman ’10 – Graduated from medical school, now a first year family medicine resident at Community Hospital East in Indianapolis.
  • Renee (Miller) Eigsti ’10 – 3rd year medical student at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
  • Tyler Keller ’10 – Residency program in emergency medicine at the University of New Mexico
  • Kelsey Eldredge ’10 – Completed Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Arcadia University and now working as an orthopedic therapist in Philadelphia
  • Joel Maust ’12 – Pharmacology (PhD) Graduate Program / University of Michigan Medical School (2nd year)
  • Hannah Miller ’10 – University of California Davis – Immunology Graduate Program

Field Biology & Environmental Science

  • Jacob Penner ’17 – PhD program in Ecology at Syracuse University
  • Derek Swartzendruber ’15 – Graduate Program in Environmental Science, University of Arizona
  • Ben Adams ’13 –  The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
  • Raymond Waweru ’12 – Master of Environmental Management (Concentration: Business and Environment) – Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • Jonathon Templin ’12 – Owner of Butternut Sustainable Farm
  • Barrett Donna ’13 – Student Conservation Association New Hampshire Corps
  • Luke Zehr ’13 – Entomology Graduate Program – University of Illinois
  • Josh Yoder ’14 – Buyer at Maple City Market
  • Darin Schwartzentruber ’10 – Garden Manager for The Loft Restaurant at Traderspoint Creamery, Zionsville, IN
  • David Stoesz ’12 – The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
  • Zachary Stalter-Clouse ’12 – University of Wisconsin Madison Geographic Information System (GIS) Certificate Program
  • Aradhana Roberts ’13 – Graduate program in Environmental Policy, Northern Arizona University
  • Ali Fretz ’13 – University of New Mexico Graduate studies in Biology
  • Avery Bischoff ’15 – Graduate Program in Marine Biology – University of Central Florida

Other Graduate School & Professional Work

  • Joel King ’10 – University of Virginia Law School
  • Adie Gerig-Heyerly ’10 – Masters in Architecture Program, University of Oregon (focus in Environmental Architecture)
  • Joe Friesen ’10 – Securities Examiner, State of Wisconsin

 Biology Education & Teaching

  • Ali Gotwals ’10 – Biology & Environmental Science Teacher, Goshen High School
  • Andy Brubaker ’10 – Biology Teacher, Goshen High School
  • Michelle Salgado ’14 – Biology Teacher, Concord High School
  • Cortney Quick ’14- Masters in Education Program, Bethel College

Goshen College Alumni Careers

Here are current positions held by some biology alumni:

  • Acupuncturist
  • Aquatic Biologist
  • Cancer Research Technician
  • Dentist
  • Family Physician
  • Health Commissioner
  • Interpretive Naturalist
  • Naturalist
  • Nephrologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Park Ranger Interpretation
  • Pathologist
  • Pharmacology Student
  • Physician
  • Senior Physical Therapist
  • Surgeon
  • Urban Conservationalist
  • Veterinary Account Manager

Overview of Biology

According to the American Institute of Biological Sciences:

“Studying biology teaches us to ask questions, make observations, evaluate evidence, and solve problems. Biologists learn how living things work, how they interact with one another, and how they evolve. They may study cells under a microscope, insects in a rainforest, viruses that affect human beings, plants in a greenhouse, or lions in the African grasslands.

Their work increases our understanding about the natural world in which we live and helps us address issues of personal well being and worldwide concern, such as environmental depletion, threats to human health, and maintaining viable and abundant food supplies.”

About the Coursework

In addition to the excellent on-campus facility for the study of biological science, GC also offers exceptional locations for field work. Most field biology courses take place at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, a 1,189-acre natural area located 30 miles from campus. This preserve contains prairies, grasslands, upland forests, lowland forests, lakes, ponds, and senescent bogs.

Areas of interest for which majors may prepare by careful selection of courses include: agriculture, allied health (medical technology, pharmacy), biotechnology, botany, cellular biology, ecology, environmental biology, field biology, genetics, human biology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, pre-professional (dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, physical therapy), teaching biology, tropical agriculture, wildlife biology or zoology.

Possible courses include:

  • Ecology & Evolution
  • Cell Biology & Genetics
  • Marine Biology
  • Organismal Biology
  • General Entomology
  • Advanced Cell Biology
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • Advanced Molecular Genetics
  • Microbial Biology

For a full list of courses and requirements, refer to the course catalog.

Teacher certification in Life Sciences or Life Sciences and Chemistry is also available. See the education department’s website for more information.

Possible Career Paths

The possible career choices are broad for every major. GC biology graduates are active in human medicine, veterinary medicine, the agricultural sciences, cell biology, microbiology, marine biology, biotechnology, ecology, environmental analysis, science communications and science education, as well as basic research in numerous biological areas.

The list below will provide you with several additional career options, but it is not exhaustive. Please note that some positions require additional education.

  • Aquarium Technician
  • Biochemist
  • Biometrician
  • Botanist
  • Dentist
  • Dietitian & Nutritionist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Forest Manager
  • Horticulture Scientist
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Hydrographic Surveyor
  • Marine Biologist
  • Meteorologist
  • Neurobiologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Paramedic
  • Parasitologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physician
  • Public Health Director
  • Soil Conservationist
  • Technical Writer
  • Water Quality Technician
  • Veterinarian
  • Zoologist

Additional Resources