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Shirley Dehn '11

We Are Knox...

Shirley Dehn '11

Graduate Student at Northwestern University

Chicago, Illinois

Biochemistry Major


Biochemistry major Shirley Dehn ‘11 is now attending graduate school as a
Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University.

How has a liberal arts context for your science education benefited you?
I was ahead of my classmates when it came to being prepared for the academic rigor of graduate-level classes.

Are you doing what you envisioned yourself doing as an undergraduate student? If not, what were your plans and how have they differed?
Yes and no. I didn't consider graduate school until I became a part of the McNair program at Knox, but then it became my top post-graduation option. Even then, though, I don't think I fully understood everything grad school entailed.

How has your Knox experience made an impact on your career?
Moving to a much larger school and diving into the competitive scientific arena, I have really appreciated the values I gained at Knox through its Honor Code and small, intimate environment.

How did your Knox experience affect the course of your life?
I wouldn't be in graduate school if it weren't for the McNair program. Also, many of the friends I made at Knox have kept in contact and provide a unit of support here in Chicago.

Why did you choose Knox?
I wanted a smaller school relatively close to home in Chicago with a strong biochemistry program. Knox had all that, but it was really the friendly environment that sealed the deal.

What surprised you about Knox?
I was told during my tour as a prospective student that every student that graduates has probably been invited over to a professor's house for dinner at least once. In high school, I was never close with my teachers so I was sure this wouldn't be the case for me, but I was surprised by the level of support and dedication from Knox professors.

What's the most important thing you learned at Knox outside the classroom?
I learned that the best way to cheer yourself up is to give back to others.