Directory
A-Z Index
 

News Release

Caitlin McEntee graduated from Northwest in May with her bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a biochemistry emphasis. This fall, she is attending the University of Kansas to begin work toward her Ph.D. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Caitlin McEntee graduated from Northwest in May with her bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a biochemistry emphasis. This fall, she is attending the University of Kansas to begin work toward her Ph.D. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

July 11, 2022

McEntee pursuing Ph.D. with foundation laid at Northwest


As Caitlin McEntee prepares to begin work toward her Ph.D. this fall, she is doing it knowing she has an advantage over some of her peers because of the profession-based experience she gained at Northwest Missouri State University.

“Northwest really sets their science students apart from big schools,” said McEntee, who graduated in May with her bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a biochemistry emphasis. This fall, she is advancing her education at the University of Kansas with hopes of working in the pharmaceutical industry.

At Northwest, she found her niche in the Garrett-Strong Science Building and quickly realized the advantages it offered.

“We have smaller class sizes,” she said. “That means smaller labs, more hands-on opportunities. I probably had more of an opportunity to work with different instrumentation in my labs than at other larger schools.”

While deciding on a university to attend for her bachelor’s degree, McEntee, a native of Fremont, Nebraska, immediately felt “at home” when she toured the Northwest campus.

“I took my tour, and I was like, ‘Yep, this is it,’” McEntee said. “I feel like a lot of schools say they’re family, but I was like, ‘OK, now they’re telling the truth (at Northwest).’”

She arrived at Northwest with hopes of one day attending medical school. But Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Shelley Riley saw something else in McEntee and suggested chemistry as an alternate route.

“I was fully set on being a doctor, getting my degree in biology,” McEntee said. “Then, my chemistry classes stole me to the other side.”

By establishing a connection with Riley, McEntee began working as a tutor and eventually became Riley’s lab teaching assistant, in addition to working as a supplemental instructor. Last summer, McEntee also completed a 10-week internship at the University of Kansas through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Outside of her coursework, McEntee was active in the Northwest Dance Company, a student organization that provides a creative outlet for students interested in practicing and performing dance.

“It was so relaxed,” she said. “I really enjoyed being able to like take a step away from my stressful classes and just go do something fun.”

But she says her work as lab assistant, tutor and supplemental instructor provided the most impactful memories she is taking from Northwest. She enjoyed the opportunity to share her love for science with other students and making connections with them during their sessions.

“I looked forward to going into work,” she said. “A lot of younger science majors struggle with being in the lab and doing lab procedures, but I really enjoyed helping those students through that.”

As she prepares for the next phase of her academic work, McEntee admits she is a little anxious. But, she says, “I know I have a little bit of a leg up than some other incoming Ph.D. students at KU. The professors (at Northwest) are absolutely amazing, and I never thought that I was not prepared.”



Contact

Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215
660.562.1704
mhorn@covenhouse.com