Hard at work in Biophysical Chemistry Lab at 8am.

Hard at work in Biophysical Chemistry Lab at 8am.

My name is Kassie Klasen and I was awarded the Jared P. Stene Scholarship in Spring of 2016. It was such an honor and has helped me out so much over the last year. Jared was such a strong leader within his WSU community which inspired me solely by reading about him. His drive and motivation makes him a role model that every Minnesota State student should look up to.

I am now currently a junior at St. Cloud State University. I am double majoring in Biomedical Science and Biochemistry and plan to graduate in Spring of 2018. I will be taking the pharmacy school admissions exam this fall and will apply to schools thereafter. The last three years have gone by so fast, but I look forward to what my future career has to offer.

I used to think I was so busy last year with my classes and extracurricular activities, then I started junior year... now I laugh at how I used to think I was busy. This year, I have taken Biochemistry I, Genomics, Calculus, Ethics, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Biochemistry II, Calculus II, Biophysical Chemistry, Histology, and two semesters of Undergraduate Research. I have been doing research for over a year now and have presented at the SCSU Student Research Colloquium and will do so again in April 2017. My research partner and I are also ecstatic to be presenting in Chicago at the American Society of Biochemistry and Biomedical Science conference in April. We also recently presented our research at the State Capitol as 2 of 50 students chosen from Minnesota State schools to present at the ‘Posters at St. Paul Event’.

 
This is my research partner Sruthi and I at the State Capitol representing Minnesota State students at the Posters at St. Paul event on March 2nd, 2017.

This is my research partner Sruthi and I at the State Capitol representing Minnesota State students at the Posters at St. Paul event on March 2nd, 2017.

 

On top of that, I am still active in multiple clubs on campus. After the scholarship was awarded, I took on the position of President of the Student Health Action and Advisory Committee (SHAAC) here at SCSU. We promote healthy lifestyles, volunteer, and plan the Relay for Life on the SCSU campus.

SHAAC donates cancer ribbons for the Wall of Hope at the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk put on by the American Cancer Society. We also hand out free apple cider to the participants

SHAAC donates cancer ribbons for the Wall of Hope at the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk put on by the American Cancer Society. We also hand out free apple cider to the participants

This picture was taken last April at our Relay for Life event that I helped plan. This year, SHAAC is the sole organization behind planning it. We are so excited for our event in a short couple of weeks!

This picture was taken last April at our Relay for Life event that I helped plan. This year, SHAAC is the sole organization behind planning it. We are so excited for our event in a short couple of weeks!

SHAAC has been a very rewarding experience. I have learned so much and have connected with people and groups that I would have never gotten the chance to without this club. This led me to be a part of a small group of students trying to pioneer a campus and community produce program. Right now, I am hard at work with my club planning our Relay for Life event for March 31st, 2017.

As if the responsibilities and excitement that SHAAC brings me was not enough, I also took on the position of Co-President of the Chemistry Club. In the fall, I was the Public Relations Officer, but our President graduated so my friend and I co-ran for President. Lately, we have put on workshops for two day-camps encouraging younger women in high school to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering and math field (STEM).

This was taken on March 18th on SCSU campus at the Horizons day camp for high school girls interested in STEM careers. I was teaching them how to use proper technique in the lab!

This was taken on March 18th on SCSU campus at the Horizons day camp for high school girls interested in STEM careers. I was teaching them how to use proper technique in the lab!

I have completed my second year of volunteering with the Husky Volunteers for Science program where we bring science experiments to the local elementary school, providing 4th graders with hands-on chemistry activities with college students. I am a two-year member of the University Ambassador program where I promote SCSU in any way possible. I also joined Medical Professions Association in the fall and volunteer with them at the local women’s shelter about once a month.

The last year has been amazing but there were a couple of speed bumps. I got 7 moles removed, some containing precancerous cells, with a grand total of 35 stitches and a couple more to come in April. I also developed a wheat intolerance in December so I have been living a healthier lifestyle including a gluten free diet! I have managed and all is well now! I don’t have much free time but when I do, I like to play intramural volleyball, rock climb, be outdoors, visit my family, and write (I’m in the process of starting my own blog!).

I am still so honored to have gotten this scholarship. I have one job right now and with this scholarship, I didn’t need to get another. This has allowed me to stay involved with all of these meaningful organizations and programs on campus. I love helping people and with this scholarship, I still get to follow my passions! I cannot thank the JPS Scholarship Committee and Students United enough! I have also been awarded the Barbara J. Penny scholarship twice which has helped me immensely. If you are a Minnesota State student, I highly encourage you to apply for these programs because they are the greatest blessing I could have ever asked for.