Cheyenne Randolph

Cheyenne RandolphMy mom is a major source of inspiration in my life. Watching her work hard as a single parent to give me the best life possible motivates me not to waste the opportunities she has provided for me. Surviving a science major involves a lot of blood, sweat, and tears — and the values and priorities she instilled in me are what push me to put in the effort.

I began my undergraduate career at the University of Rochester, but realized that I had been so focused on reaching perfection in high school that as a freshman I needed to take a break and spend time taking care of myself. I took two years off and was ready for a fresh start. The more I looked into SPU, the more I wanted to come here. I liked that it was a smaller school so my professors would actually know me, and it seemed like a school that would support the importance of self-care.

It turns out I was right. Coming to SPU is one of the best decisions I have made. I’m not particularly religious, but having the religion classes integrated into my education has made me a more open-minded person. I’ve learned not to let preconceived notions affect me and that there is always something to be learned out of differences.

My highlight of being in the Biology department so far is the Blakely Island trip for my "General Biology" class. Doing fieldwork in such amazing settings is one of the most appealing aspects of biology for me. Next winter, I’m going on the Galapagos trip, which I couldn’t be more excited about. My favorite class at SPU has been "Vertebrate Biology." One of the coolest things I’ve been able to do as a Biology major is dissect a dogfish shark in that class.

Though all my professors have impacted me positively, there are a few in particular who have been really helpful to me. Dr. Ridgway has given me the opportunity to research with him, which is an invaluable experience that gives me a realistic understanding of what it’s like to work in a lab. I am also taken more seriously within the scientific community because of this experience. My advisor, Dr. Wood, made me feel comfortable when I first arrived at SPU, and former Chair and Professor of Chemistry Dr. Peter gave me the opportunity to TA for him.

My experience with the Biology department has been better than I could have imagined. My professors are extraordinarily supportive in and out of the classroom. I know each of them cares about me as an individual. Their actions have shown again and again their willingness to help me and all their students succeed.


Hannah Rodrigues

"My faith has grown and been tested a lot here at SPU. It is absolutely amazing to be surrounded by so many people of faith. It’s inspirational. I’ve never had a professor talk openly about faith before, and it is such a cool thing to experience."