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Biology Student Stories: Michelle Tin

Michelle Tin

“While it is so exciting to enrich my life with different experiences and opportunities, it is equally as important to find balance and make time for myself,” says Michelle Tin, a senior graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a double minor in chemistry and Pediatric Clinical Research.

Graduating senior Michelle Tin developed an impressive resume during her four years at the University of Utah. She has had many signature experiences, but it all started with ACCESS Scholars, a first-year experience that includes a research placement. Michelle has worked in the neuroscience lab of Professor Ayako Yamaguchi ever since. Taking a deep dive into biological research, where she has investigated topics like opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD) in mammals, just makes sense for this aspiring medical student. More broadly, the lab considers communications in the brain and connections to behavior using African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) as a model system. Like many biology labs at the U and beyond, model organisms are a great resource for learning about genetic diseases and how life works.

When Michelle is not listening to frogs vocalize in the lab, you might find her dancing with the campus K-pop club. Getting involved, and giving back to the campus community has been artfully balanced with academics. Michelle has held over ten positions on campus, ranging from serving as an ambassador for the College of Science to volunteering in the  Feed U Pantry. She says, “Other than our fantastic campus, I so appreciate the diverse range of resources and opportunities the U offers, allowing students to find their community and succeed during their time here.” Michelle has studied abroad in Spain, as well as partaken in the Alternative Breaks program through the Bennion Center.

Although Michelle has been very involved on campus, she emphasizes the importance of downtime and prioritizes things that she enjoys outside of academics. When asked to reflect on her experiences and give advice to current and future students he says, “My advice to STEM students with a busy schedule is to be aware of their limits. When I first started college I had a hard time saying no to new opportunities and thought I could just do it all, but this led to me getting extremely burnt-out. From then on I knew how much I could realistically have on my plate while still being able to have time for myself.” Part of learning this balance included finding time for activities that she enjoys. During her free time, Michelle enjoys dancing, snowboarding, gaming, and hanging out with her friends. After graduation, Michelle plans to take a gap year to work, travel, and apply to medical schools.

By Isabel DuBay

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