Less than four years old, McKendree University’s biopsychology program is sending graduates into the world well-equipped to succeed in their field. With approximately 60 students, “it is very popular and many have gone on to occupational or physical therapy graduate school, counseling programs and careers,” said Dr. Tami Eggleston, professor of psychology and a driving force behind the program’s creation.
The program was created as Eggleston (who graduated with a biopsychology degree herself) saw she was helping students gain footing in occupational therapy, physical therapy, accelerated nursing and chiropractic — fields which required psychology as well as biology classes. “We wanted to offer a major that truly is the best of both,” she said.
Dr. Angela LaMora, assistant professor of biology, oversees the science courses required for biopsychology. “We will be further differentiating the B.S. and B.A. degrees, emphasizing the biological sciences with the B.S.,” she said. Students who are strong in biology “can concentrate on this core of classes, allowing them to maintain high GPAs while getting to take the exact courses they need.”
The degree allows graduates to stand out as they take their next step after McKendree. “Gaining acceptance into graduate schools is very competitive,” noted Dr. Eggleston, who wants the program’s graduates to have every possible advantage.
Ronnie Drummond, a 2017 McKendree graduate, was in the first cohort of biopsychology students. He is now pursuing a doctor of occupational therapy degree at Washington University. Drummond’s research focus is working with homeless populations, preparing them to gain, restore or maintain independence in their daily lives.
On his first day observing at a local homeless shelter, he watched as a client, who was being housed in his own apartment, broke down and expressed his gratitude and appreciation. “I realized at that moment that I belong serving this population,” he said.
This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios in collaboration with McKendree University. The news and editorial departments of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had no role in its creation or display. For more information about Brand Ave. Studios, contact email@example.com.
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