Ally Fairman

Biochemistry '14
... It has been helpful to remember that despite those who laugh at God being in control of anything, they're spending their time discovering how things work in the laws that he made for creation.

How did your program at Biola prepare you for your career?

My career is still happening - but education is stepping stones. I value having my undergraduate foundation of science at Biola because aside from explaining the science, we were using it as a tool to look deeper into the ways of the Creator. As I came out to a state university with a strong research campus, it has been helpful to remember that despite those who laugh at God being in control of anything, they're spending their time discovering how things work in the laws that he made for creation.

What did you appreciate most about your time at Biola?

I think the thing I loved most about Biola was how much the professors in the biology/CPE department really cared about all of us who stuck around. The general education professors did too, but you saw them for a semester and then you were done. I lived in the same dorm all four years at Biola, but Bardwell really became my home and my family. The professors put up with our silliness and pranks, and even helped us prank other ones, but were always there if we needed to talk about life or ask questions about the material. You knew you'd started to morph into the family mesh when you started putting in full Blooms (definition: a Bloom is a student-developed unit for 12 nearly consecutive hours spent in Bardwell, used to honor Dr. Bloom who works hard and complains about finals - a group of us put in 3 full Blooms on a take-home analytical chemistry final.)

How did Biola equip you to be a more faithful follower of Jesus Christ?

I know everyone complains about the mandatory bible classes (generally when we didn't have our assignments done and they we're due the next day...) but they were incredibly useful. My younger cousin started at Biola a year after I left, and I would give the same advice to anyone else as I gave to her. Even if it isn't required of you, find a way to take Dr. Talley's Old Testament course. It's fast paced and the assignments are hard to do, but it will change the way you think about the Bible and life in general.

What advice would you give to students considering your degree program?

So, as I teach now, there are four main ways of dealing with college in general. Squander, survive, succeed, and surpass all expectations.

Surviving college means you have to do the basics. Go to class, take the tests, do the assignments. Maybe you don't spend as much time on them as you should, but C's get degrees right? And you really want to have fun. You might be able to do it, but that attitude doesn't mesh well.

To succeed: read the syllabi. Know what is expected of you. Read the book ahead of time. Go to office hours to ask questions. Even if you're having trouble with the math in lab, get it explained to you and do it on your own. Of the nine biochem graduates in my year who walked together, we were all the lab partner who did the math. Try to get real sleep.

Only one of the people in my year would I categorize as "surpass all expectations" - she worked her butt off and planned her schedule such that she had time to study, work, sleep, and spend with friends.