Whether it’s music or cellular organisms, biology major Jessica Skindelien ’21 is fascinated by the connections around us.
Jessica Skindelien ’21, Willmar, Minn.
Major/Minor: Biology; Chemistry
Why did you choose Concordia?
I was looking for a place that felt like home to me and I found that sense of home at Concordia. With the close-knit community, small class sizes and a more personalized learning experience, I knew Concordia would be an ideal place for me to grow both academically and spiritually.
What cocurricular activities are you involved in?
I am a member of Kantorei, which is a mixed choir of mostly first-year students. I am also part of SALT (Students and Alumni Linked Together) and I’m on the 2018 Orientation Committee, the Homecoming Committee, and the Family Weekend Committee.
How has music been important to you in higher education?
It’s given me the opportunity to express myself and make connections with others. In my experience, music has always been a breeding ground for the creation of new friendships and mutual creativity. The self-expression aspect gives people a way to become more in touch with themselves.
What is your favorite part of biology?
Studying how organisms function and work together to make thriving ecosystems. I really enjoyed my Cell Biology class I took last semester, where we studied biological cellular structures and their functions.
What is one piece of advice you would give a prospective student thinking of studying biology or chemistry?
Learn what study habits work best for you. These majors don’t have easy classes, so it is imperative that you figure out a studying style that works best for you so you can be successful.
Who have been some of your most influential professors at Concordia?
Dr. John Flaspohler is my faculty advisor and my Biology 121 teacher. He was always very helpful when I had questions about career paths and other opportunities in the field of biology, and he helped me discover that I wanted to pursue biology as a major. The music faculty have also influenced my personal experience at Concordia. Dr. Michael Culloton, my choir director, has helped me realize and come to appreciate the significance of music in my life. His instruction helped me improve my musical techniques and renew my appreciation of music.
What’s one of your favorite memories from your time at Concordia?
Definitely Orientation. It was such a welcoming and fun experience. I made so many friends that week, most of whom I still have today. It gave me a sense of what being a Concordia student is all about.
What sets Concordia apart from other colleges or universities?
Again, something that I noticed immediately when I came to campus was a sense of community. Even after fellow Cobbers graduate, they stay connected to the college and maintain that personal bond that they have with the college and others that have attended it.
Has anything surprised you about living on campus?
I was expecting a difficult transition to on-campus living prior to coming to Concordia, but my transition ended up being seamless. I found myself really enjoying living on campus, and something that I really appreciate about Concordia’s location in Fargo-Moorhead is the small town atmosphere in a bigger city where there are so many fun things to do.
What do you plan or dream to do postgraduation?
I will most likely be attending grad school or medical school. Eventually, I would love to be working somewhere in the medical field, possibly as a physician’s assistant. A physician’s assistant fills in for the doctor and completes tasks that the doctor may not have time for, which could be seeing patients or working with surgeons. It has so much flexibility in the kind of work I could be doing every day.
Kayley Erlandson is a content specialist at Concordia College.