By: Yvonne Quint, CWLC Board Member
Heading the team of WLC students who earned a silver medal at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) 2016 Giant Jamboree competition in Boston, MA was no small feat. Yet, this is just one facet of the bright, talented Jordyn Pieper who, upon graduating from WLC in May 2017, is headed to Carroll University to study under the physician’s assistant program.
Jordyn and I chatted in WLC’s Warrior Underground this spring – and I came away with a heightened respect for the opportunities available to students at WLC.
Raised in Loyal, Wisconsin, Jordyn attended Loyal High School before enrolling at WLC four years ago, majoring in biology. She joined the iGEM team during the second semester of her sophomore year.
She took on the responsibility of planning and organizing the 2016 bio-engineering summer camp at WLC, hosting high school students for a week. Activities included lectures by various professors and a tour of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Leading a committee of five WLC students, she secured meeting rooms, dorms and meals, and worked with her team to confirm speakers and organize evening activities for the high school students. “It was a great experience, and helped me to build teamwork and trust with my fellow students.” Jordyn commented.
In her senior year, Jordyn served as president of the WLC iGEM team. During their trip to Boston last October, Jordyn and three other team members, along with their advisor Dr. John N. Werner, Assistant Professor of Biology, spent five days at the conference, meeting and making connections with people from all over the world. Per the college’s press release, “The team’s silver medal places WLC in the company of teams from Cornell, Purdue, Northwestern, and Duke, among others.”
“The WLC project involved detecting and isolating new viruses against disease-causing bacteria.” per the press release. “The student-led team genetically modified a harmless bacterial lab strain to express a small but safe component of an infectious bacterium to look for viruses that infect and kill disease-causing bacteria. The increased prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria makes this project extremely relevant.”
What did she take away from the iGEM competition? “I realized that there will always be something to explore and to understand. I see people and problems from a different perspective now. Presenting at the conference helped to build my confidence and improve my communication skills. I know that these improvements will help me succeed in my chosen profession.”
“Opportunities like these, with the support of my professors, made it possible for me to stand out in the selection process at Carroll University. You have to set yourself apart. My experiences with iGEM and other opportunities in the classroom and labs helped me to do that.”
On behalf of the Christian Women’s Leadership Circle board of directors and members, we wish Jordyn God’s blessings and continued success in her studies. And may she continue to use her leadership skills to the glory of God.
Note: The Christian Women’s Leadership Circle grants a $1,000 scholarship to a junior female student who has shown leadership skills. The finalist is recommended by the WLC Campus Ministry Office. For more information on how you can support female students at WLC, please contact Yvonne Quint at 262-790-5716, firstname.lastname@example.org.