Gates Failing '16
Biology major Gates Failing ‘16 has always been interested in science and medicine.As a Stamps scholar, Gates has taken advantage of a number of on-campus and off-campus opportunities. Since walking onto the Elizabethtown College campus, Gates has been involved with student senate, peer mentoring, the Moving Forward Together program with the Milton Hershey School, Medicus, and the Honors program. He has also gotten involved in research; staying on campus for 4 weeks during the summer to work in the lab.
Gates' undergraduate research involves studying the dynamics of microbial populations. He is exploring how microorganisms associated with buildings change over time in response to human traffic and use. While much time has been spent working out methodology for this research, Gates will have much of his junior and senior year to see this research progress.
While always active on campus, in the spring of 2014, Gates found himself experiencing new cultures and sites off-campus. Through the PEACE (Promoting Education and Cultural Exchange) Program, Gates spent his spring semester in The Gambia. There he visited rural villages, learned the Wolof language, and completed an anthropological research project on traditional medicine.
In Summer 2014 Gates is participating in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine’s Summer Student Program in Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Public Health Epidemiology. This is an eight-week research internship. His research focuses on the genetic origins of antibiotic resistance in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
We asked Gates some other questions about Elizabethtown and here are his responses.
Gates, why would you recommend Elizabethtown to High School students to consider?
Elizabethtown has an optimal balance of academics, extracurricular activities, and community spirit that make it a unique institution. Elizabethtown sets up students for success and promotes personal growth in all aspects of life. A small liberal arts school offers a personalized and intimate form of higher education. Personally, I can attest that a significant portion of my success so far at Elizabethtown is due to the supportive community that envelops the college environment.
What comment can you offer about your experiences here at Elizabethtown?
After completing my first two years, I am thrilled with my college experience thus far. I have become involved in so many diverse learning opportunities and personal experiences through traveling abroad, participating in research, joining campus organizations, and integrating into the community. I can't believe my college experience is halfway done, and I am excited to see what the next two years have in store!
What comment can you offer about the faculty?
The quality of the faculty at Elizabethtown was one of the reasons why I decided to become a Blue Jay. During my visit to campus, I had the opportunity to talk with several professors about the school, the Biology Department, and college in general. I was amazed by their kindness and willingness to mentor students. After two years, this is still one of the college's most valuable qualities in my opinion. Professors here play an instrumental role both inside and outside of the classroom as well as inspire students to achieve their full potential.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am planning on attending medical school, but I am considering dual degree programs as well, including MD-PhD and MD-MPH. Furthermore, studying abroad has inspired me to pursue a career that involves traveling, either nationally or abroad, as well as working in rural medicine and public health.