Aspiring physicians, dentists, veterinarians, physician assistants, pharmacists, physical therapists, and others, all have something in common…they all need an advanced degree. LTU’s Department of Natural Sciences paves the way for these students to enter their next academic level. “The multiple prerequisite courses for most health profession programs all reside in Natural Sciences,” said Dr. Jeffery Morrissette, associate professor of biology and pre-health advisor. It makes sense that the health-related fields that depend so heavily on technology are taught in a comprehensive technological university as LTU.
“We have always thought of engineering as more mechanical in nature. But we’re looking at the best ways to engineer and use telehealth and medical records to produce better health outcomes,” said Dr. Julie Zwiesler-Vollick, Natural Sciences department chair and associate professor of biology.
– Dr. Julie Zweisler-Vollick
She described the updates going on in the department. “We’re revamping Natural Sciences. We reduced the number of degree programs from six to three, making them broader to appeal to students’ interests in ecology and the environment, for example."
If you know anything about LTU, you certainly know the motto “Theory and Practice.” Morrissette is proud of the academic rigor and intensity of the Natural Science programs, especially the hands-on laboratory experience required of all students.
What’s next in health care? LTU continues to look to the future of healthcare-related professions to expand the University’s offerings. The dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Srini Kambhampati , spearheads the Task Force on Health Profession Degree Programs that “is always seeking to stay ahead of the pack to benefit our students and our society.”
Morrissette is convinced of the LTU advantages for their health-focused students. He said, “Our key differentiators: we have small classes; an excellent Academic Achievement Center; and our students have access to their professors as personal mentors. The letters of recommendation we can provide our students to get into these professional schools are based on our personal experiences with them. I can talk about their passion for the program, for example, which you can’t get at a huge, impersonal university!”
And finally, added Zwiesler-Vollick, “We place an emphasis on life-long learning. We want to teach you how to always keep learning and how to stay current.”
by Renée Ahee