by Gordie Felger
Alexandria Hansen ’18 (neuroscience and biology major; chemistry and Spanish minor) of Bondurant, Iowa, is quick to praise Coe’s Neuroscience Department professors, saying, “They all want you to succeed as a student and are always available when you have questions.”
She remembers Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. David Lo most fondly.
“Dr. Lo always strives to make class fun, whether it be through his unique analogies, funny stories or dance numbers,” Alexandria says. “He is very attuned to students’ stress and level of understanding and accommodates his lessons accordingly. He even brought his dog in after class after a particularly stressful week.”
Alexandria’s advice to prospective students is to seek help outside the classroom when needed:
- Attend Supplemental Instructor sessions.
- Request a tutor through the Academic Achievement Program.
- Stop by your professor's office to ask questions.
She also stresses the importance of extracurricular involvement for a well-rounded college experience.
“Coe gives you so many opportunities, from guest speakers, clubs, volunteer opportunities and internships, there is something for everyone to get involved with,” Alexandria says. “I learned just as much from my activities outside the classroom as I did in my courses.”
To meet her practicum requirement, Alexandria completed a Health and Science Internship.
“This [internship] gave me the opportunity to shadow physicians and physician assistants in different locations around Cedar Rapids,” she says. “I spent a week in dermatology, pediatrics and family medicine. Many courses I took at Coe, such as Integrated Human Anatomy and Integrated Human Physiology, helped me understand terms and processes that I saw in the clinic while shadowing.”
Alexandria is enrolled in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. She says of her academic experience at Coe, “[The] strong foundation in the sciences was especially helpful when I applied for [physician assistant] school, and I'm sure will continue to be advantageous as I begin my graduate studies. Having a background in neuroscience will give me a more holistic perspective as I become a health care provider. I will have a stronger understanding of the mind, allowing me to give better care to my future patients.”