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Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences

Testimonials

Carolina fabelo, msbs class of 2017

Why did you choose WesternU?

I chose WesternU to pursue my interest in research since I graduated with my BS in nutrition science/ animal nutrition from Cal Poly Pomona. My overall goal was to eventually apply to veterinary school or a PhD, and I knew that gaining research experience in a field that I am interested in would lead me into the right direction to pursue my career goals. 

What one or two elements of your education proved to be the most valuable to you in your career?

The most valuable elements to my education at WesternU were the PBL style classes, and research experience. PBL really taught me to think outside the box and use my science background knowledge in an applied fashion. PBL also taught me to break out of my shell and speak up with confidence in my classes. The research taught me many disciplines and skills that will stay with me for future endeavors, including one-on-one student mentorship, attending conferences, poster presentations, published article co-authorship, and of course presenting and writing my thesis manuscript in front of an audience. With that said, the MSBS program really prepared me for my future career goals especially since my mentor, Dr. Wagner, hired me on as a research associate for the year while I apply to further my education at veterinary and PhD programs. 


Steven Kezian, MSBS Class of 2017

Why did you choose WesternU?

I chose WesternU because it was the perfect small school environment for me and I could tell there was a great sense of family and community from my interactions with the faculty and students.  I was very intrigued by the research that was being done at this school as well and was quite impressed by the facilities when I first visited.  The fact that there was a dental school on campus was a very important factor for me because it allowed me the opportunity to explore the dental school environment.

How did being in the MSBS Program prepare you for professional school and where are you now?

The MSBS program was a crucial factor in preparing me for dental school.  The classes gave me the background knowledge to be successful, kept my study skills sharp out of undergrad, and offered me the opportunity to greatly improve my academic status as an applicant.  I was accepted to my top choice dental school, the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and could not be more grateful to Western U for helping me get there!


TAKASHI TAGUCHI, MSBS CLASS OF 2017

Who at WesternU made you feel supported and how?

I was very lucky to work with my mentor Dr. Dominique Griffon. She had always given me a clear guidance and right feedback for my work. What I had learned from her became the core of building strategy to conduct research as a PhD student.

How did being in the MSBS Program prepare you for professional school and where are you now?

I am now enrolled in PhD program at School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University. In MSBS program, there are opportunity to publish papers, present in scientific conferences, and meet other scholars. All of these not only helped me to be where I am now, but also will be driving force to move my professional or academic career forward.


jUDY lY, MSBS CLASS OF 2016

Why did you choose WesternU?

WesternU’s faculty and staff are one of the reasons why I chose this school. Whether it was a school related topic or not, faculty and staff were always available at any time of the day. The warm welcoming, compassionate, and family aspect of WesternU’s faculty and staff gave me a supportive and caring environment to learn.

How did being in the MSBS Program prepare you for professional school and where are you now?

The MSBS program gave me the opportunity to learn in a very independent, problem-based learning manner. Through the variety of courses along with a research component, I was given difficult problems to solve. This aspect of the program helped me understand what kind of a learner I am, how I can best study, and most importantly, the significance of taking study breaks. Without my experience from the MSBS program, professional school would be a much more difficult task to accomplish.


Briana Segovia, msms class of 2016

Why did you choose WesternU?

I chose WesternU for a multitude of reasons, however my biggest contributing factors is WesternU is a school who cares about their students and the community around them. I love the fact that the school is so involved in the community and love how they encourage to students to give back to those in need. They hold a variety of activities for students to be involved in with the community which range from clinics all the way to tutoring. They are school who embody the message of community, placing the patient first, and support for one another.

Who at WesternU made you feel supported and how?

That’s an easy question, EVERYONE. This school wants you to succeed in your studies and wants you to achieve your dreams of a career in healthcare. I love the availability of faculty hours, the extra help if needed, and the understanding of the administration when life gets tough. They are here for here to help in whatever the issue is, from classes to personal matters. I feel extremely blessed to go to a school who want you succeed and I would not change my school, not even for an instant. 


 

dulce Lopez, MSBS Class of 2015

Why did you choose WesternU?

I chose WesternU because it was the only school on the west coast that offered a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences. The MSBS program’s major philosophy was to provide students with a strong research focus and training that enabled graduates to enter a career in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, or public/private research institutions. I was looking to acquire some research experience and problem-solving skills and WesternU was the best fit. WesternU was a good choice because I feel that it prepared me well to enter the research industry. The skill set and problem-solving skills I’ve acquired are valuable and I’m sure I will use them in my future career.

 


Anna-Marie Kelemen, MSBS Class of 2015

What one or two elements of your education proved to be the most valuable to you in your career?

Because of the great research opportunity I received with my PI, I was able to present my research as a speaker at the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology national conference, which was a great opportunity for a Masters student as I was the only student presenting in my section.

How have you seen the University’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family?

Perhaps the best example of this was seen in my PI for my lab who treated me as an equal even though I was an entry MSBS student.


Brice Williams, Msms class of 2015

What one or two elements of your education proved to be the most valuable to you in your career?

WesternU’s emphasis towards ensuring their graduates have an immense understanding of the biochemical systems, and the molecular basis of human anatomy has been exceedingly instrumental for my professional career, as well as my individual lifestyle. From a professional perspective, my education from WesternU was a catalyst for my comprehension and understanding of our (Edwards Lifesciences) catalog of products; e.i. Swan-Ganz catheters and Oximetry monitors that are used in ER/OR rooms across the world. The in-depth clinical research was vital in providing me with the experience to understand the clinical process from beginning to end, and evaluating the clinical research data. I am proud to be an embodiment of WesternU’s mission statement, “to produce, in a humanistic tradition, health care professionals and biomedical knowledge that will enhance and extend the quality of life in our communities”.

How did being in the MSMS Program prepare you for professional school and where are you now? 

In my pursuit to positively impact people’s lives, I chose my professional career in Regulatory Affairs after I graduated from the MSMS program in 2015. I am a Regulatory Affairs Specialist for the heart valve and medical device company Edwards Lifesciences; located in Irvine, CA. The educational foundation I received from WesternU has provided me with an unique perspective and appreciation my title. As a Regulatory Affairs Specialist for our Critical Care business unit, I am responsible for writing and submitting 510(k) submissions to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other international governing bodies to ensure safety and efficacy of the devices on the patients. I am fulfilled by being able to contribute to saving nearly 15 million lives per year.    


Amanda Borgquist, msbs class of 2014

Who at WesternU made you feel supported and how?

While earning my Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree at Western University of Health Sciences, I could always count on my principal investigator, Dr. Edward Wagner to provide excellent mentorship in my daily and long term educational goals. 

How did being in the MSBS Program prepare you for professional school and where are you now?

Earning my masters degree in Biomedical Sciences at WesternU better prepared me for veterinary school by improving my time management, problem based learning, leadership and scientific-based research skills. I was able to work with animals, contribute to scientific literature, and gain a hands-on appreciation for multifaceted research techniques in various laboratory settings. 


Karim Fahmy, msms class of 2014

How have you seen the University’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family?

One of the core principles at WesternU is humanism, which is present in all aspects of the university from the staff to the students. I want to highlight the humanism I have seen in the outreach WesternU does with Pomona. There are a number of different service opportunities ranging from free clinics off campus to teaching elementary students about science and medicine. As an MSBS student, I was able to get involved with these programs early, which allowed me to step outside the classroom and serve in different capacities to our local community. Some of my fondest memories were at local elementary schools running science experiments with the eager students. I continued to stay involved in different service clubs during medical school, and I am grateful to attend a university found on humanism and compassion for others. 

How did being in the MSMS Program prepare you for professional school and where are you now?

The MSBS program was the most beneficial part of my education in preparing me for medical school. Not only did we take anatomy with the medical students, but the other classes were rigorous and equipped us perfectly for the health professional curriculum. We were fortunate to have direct access to the COMP faculty who were always willing to meet with us and mentor us. When I started medical school at WesternU, I felt confident and ready to begin the intense medical school curriculum. In addition, I was able to get involved in organizations and join student government as I already felt comfortable in this graduate school environment. I recommend the MSBS program to all my friends and family applying for a health professional degree.

 


Eftikhar Akam, MSMS class of 2013

Why did you choose WesternU?

I chose WesternU because the moment I stepped on to the campus I felt that I belonged here. I was surrounded by like-minded people who believed in the holistic approach to patient management, who cared about their community, and cared about each other. There’s definitely a sense of community that makes WesternU my home away from home.

How did being in the MSMS Program prepare you for professional school and where are you now?

I feel that the MSMS program gave me an edge when it comes to understanding medical literature and how it is the fundamental root of evidence-based care. Working on a research project while studying medicine allowed me to understand how research translates from bench to bedside. I’ve come to see why care recommendations change over the years: the more we know, the more we are able to practice medicine safely, efficiently, and cost effectively. The MSMS program essentially made me into a scientist the same way medical school is making me into a physician. 


Sandy Ibrahim, Msms class of 2013

 

Why did you choose WesternU?

WesternU was the only school I applied to because of its humanistic philosophy, family oriented environment, knowledgeable and supportive staff, to increase my knowledge and experience before entering dental school. 

Who at WesternU made you feel supported and how?

I hope to one day repay many of the WesternU staff members for all the support and encouragement they provided me when I needed it most.  Coming from a underserved background and being the first generation to go to college; I’ve always had to forge my own path and doubted myself along the way. Without them, I would not have been the Dentist I am today. A special thank you to Hector, Dagmar, Jodi Olson, Dr. Safaoui, Dr. Henson, and Dr. Rega. 


Jonathan Lee, MSBS CLASS OF 2013

Who at WesternU made you feel supported and how?

All of the faculty and staff members in the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences made me feel welcomed and supported. They are willing to help students out with any problems ranging from school work to financial aid. Furthermore, the faculty and staff in the Biomedical Sciences program are extremely friendly and are checking in with the students when they can.

How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family?

The willingness to care and help one another out at WesternU is ingrained within the faculty, staff, and students. It is absolutely amazing to know that you can depend on nearly everyone at WesternU to help you succeed and become proficient in your profession.

 


Jonathan Alvarez, MSBS Class of 2013

Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it.

What is great about the MSBS program is the interaction we as students are able to have. Our small classes allow us to become fully engaged in a topic or chapter that we are focusing on.

Describe your best clinical experience and why it was memorable.

While working in my first lab rotation under Dr. Doug Ethell I was able to have one of those “EUREKA!” moments. I didn’t make some groundbreaking discovery that was going to cure AIDS, but I did discover something within myself. It was one of those make-or-break moments. I wasn’t sure if this program was a right fit for me is that I had minimum research experience. But in this lab, I really, for the first time, experienced the feeling of getting positive results after a lab experiment that was going towards legitimate research and it was AWESOME!

Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how?

Dr. Manal Swairjo has been an excellent support for me. She has an open-door policy that gives me the time to sit with her and discuss lecture, or even personal, issues.