Belle English-Department of Biological Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, January 17, 2011

Belle English

Junior, B.S in Biological Sciences and Psychology

"Carnegie Mellon is an unique environment where nerding out over your classwork doesn't just happen, it's encouraged."

I first visited Carnegie Mellon over Spring Break my junior year in high school. During the visit, I got the sense that being a bit quirky and unique was commonplace at CMU. On the tour, instead of paying attention to all the facts that the tour guides present, I spent half of the tour talking to one of them about jazz ensemble. CMU felt like a great match.

I applied to Carnegie Mellon as an undeclared Biological Sciences major, because of the great times that I had with AP Biology and Anatomy & Physiology in high school. It was difficult for me to focus on one area of study and settle on a major, but by the end of my freshman year, I knew that I wanted to be a Biological Sciences and Psychology major. As Science and Humanities Scholar with a General Education requirement, I take courses on a broad number of topics. For example, this semester I'm enrolled in Survey of Forms: Fiction.

Over the past two and a half years at CMU one of my favorite courses was Phage Genomics. Phage Genomics was a year-long freshman seminar funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute, studying mycobacteriophage.. A mycobacteriophage is a virus that infects mycobacterium. The first half of this class involved isolating, purifying, and characterizing phage from soil samples that the class had collected; the second half included annotating the genome of the Island3 class phage. This was a unique experience, and I highly recommend applying for the seminar if you are an incoming MCS freshman.

In my free time, I am involved with the Masters of Flying Objects, CMU's juggling club; write science-fiction, fantasy, and poetry; participate in both Magic @ CMU, CMU's Magic club, and Online Gamer's Society; and I work in the Tissue and Cell Culture room at Mellon Institute for the Jarvik Lab.