Alexa Jardenil '20
Before commencement marked the formal end of her undergraduate career, Alexa Jardenil ’20 was already working in a lab as a molecular biologist, something she credits to the Illinois College biology department.
The connections Alexa made in the biology department while she was choosing a college played a big role in her decision to pick IC. She developed close and unique relationships with each of her professors in biology and chemistry, which was her minor, and had the opportunity to do student-faculty research with Bryan Arnold, associate professor of biology.
Through opportunities on campus, Alexa learned she has a passion for working with and teaching others. After an injury sidelined her as a volleyball player, she stayed involved as a manager for the team, working closely with players during her junior and senior years. She also helped her fellow students as a supplemental instructor. She hopes one day to teach at an academic institution like IC.
"Ultimately, my experiences within my major — like the research, the classes, all of the professors I've been mentored by — that's how I was able to get a job before graduation. Even in the midst of the pandemic I was still able to find a job — working directly with the virus, as well. I've been grateful, to say the least, for everything IC has done for me, especially the biology department and the students and the professors. I literally could not have done it without them."
Alexa is a molecular biologist at ACGT in Wheeling, Illinois. The company works closely with university labs and hospitals as a third party handling some of the lab work needed for coronavirus research.
"I am extremely grateful. I am indebted to IC for the rest of my life."