Claire Rikard, '13

B.S. in Molecular Biology, B.A. in English

Do you feel like you made any concessions to come to a school that is reasonably priced?
Definitely not! Grove City College had all the “quintessential” college experiences I could have wanted, including but not limited to IM sports, two great cafeterias, on-campus living, fraternities/sororities, etc. When I talk with friends now, many of them tell me that they wish they had gone to a smaller school that emphasized on-campus living and activities.

How is faith incorporated in the classroom?
I went to a Christian high school, so many of the religious aspects of Grove City College were things I took for granted. In graduate school and not being surrounded by people who share my beliefs or Christian professors, I was grateful for the atmosphere that is fostered at Grove City College. Specifically, it was wonderful as a science major to have role models in our faculty who are simultaneously incredible scientists and devout Christians, something which is not common at most universities.

How do the academics challenge students to think on a deeper level about the world and life in general?
Every course I took connected the subject matter to larger issues, from organic chemistry to Speculative Mind to lit classes. Professors helped me take time to think about the world and how not only I view it, but also how others view it. They gave me a sense of wonder and curiosity. For example, Civilization and the Arts taught me how human works can be a form of worship in a way I didn’t understand before.

What is the relationship like between the students and the professors?
This relationship is a vital part of life at Grove City College, and it is unique! Professors’ doors are always open (“office hours” really mean they’re available). It’s more than that; faculty are at campus activities frequently. From dancing at Big Man on Campus to coaching sports to serving the community, they are always participating.

What advice would you give to an incoming student?
Get involved but be selective! It’s tempting to get overly committed freshman year after the Organization Fair, but your time is better spent investing in a few activities that are meaningful to you. Remember: your full-time job is being a student. You have incredible courses and faculty; take advantage and put the time in. Also, this may be the first time you get a B or aren’t the top of your class—this is okay. It’s a lesson I learned, and continue to learn, repeatedly.

Describe your experience in campus activities. 
I joined a Bible study as a freshman and remained active all four years with those women; this was a wonderful anchor throughout my time at Grove City College. I also went Greek and joined Sigma Theta Chi: four fun years with incredible, talented women who shaped my college life. Additionally, I enjoyed serving as chemistry show chair and co-founding an improv troupe. From my lab partners to my sorority sisters, I loved campus life at Grove City College.

Where are you now?
I married my high school sweetheart after college, and I graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in May 2017. At one point, we had six Grovers here at UT medical school simultaneously! I started my pediatric residency here in July 2017.

Learn more about Grove City College's B.A. in English and B.S. in Molecular Biology

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