As an undergraduate at Concordia, Mary Gebhardt ’13 stumbled across her passions for infectious diseases and the study of insects, or entomology.
“I took entomology kind of by accident,” she says.
Sitting in a Fargo coffee shop with an iced tea, Gebhardt says the course sparked her interest in medical entomology, with a particular focus on malaria.
Her degree in biology has served Gebhardt well – so much that she was accepted into the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
“I just applied on a whim,” she says. “It still doesn’t seem totally real.”
Gebhardt packed up her life and moved to London in mid-September.
The medical entomology program Gebhardt was accepted into is a one-year master’s program. Gebhardt says her experience at Concordia helped prepare her for this next step in her career.
“When I was at Concordia, I was a part of as many research opportunities as I could be,” she says. “The professors at Concordia are really good about pushing you.”
LSHTM is ranked among the top three schools in the world for its leadership in the areas of public health and infectious diseases.
During her time at Concordia, Gebhardt worked on native bee research with Dr. Bryan Bishop, associate professor of biology, and took one of his classes.
“Her getting accepted into LSHTM is very, very impressive,” Bishop says.
LSHTM has also been involved in the Ebola outbreak, sending faculty members and staff on leave to work with the World Health Organization. Gebhardt says the school is keeping students updated through seminars and lectures.
“It’s really quite interesting being in this public health epicenter during the crisis,” she says.
After LSHTM, Gebhardt hopes to work for a while, exercising her skills in research, before returning to school to receive her doctorate.