Celebrating the Class of 2020: Evelyn Gagnon

Evelyn initially chose UM-Flint because it was close to home; she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, and it was an easy daily commute.

Fast-forward a few years and she conducted research as a guest at the University Montana, studying a protein called “Cytochrome c” and working toward completing her honors thesis as a Biochemistry and Clinical Lab Science/Medical Technology double major. A lot can change when you’re in a supportive environment like Evelyn found with the University of Michigan-Flint.

Even though her scheduled was packed a double major in the sciences, Evelyn was content with restricting herself to science courses. She expressed herself by joining the Wind Symphony (she played the trumpet). Most important to her experience, however, were the connections she could make with her professors.

“I just can’t imagine not being able to able to talk with your professors. You can go to their office hours and actually sit and have a conversation with them,” Evelyn says. “I don’t think I would have done well at a larger state school.”

Evelyn thrived at UM-Flint. As part of the Honors Program, Dr. Maureen Thum first helped her decide to major in Clinical Lab Science/Medical Technology. Then a conversation with Dr. Matthew Fhaner helped her discover how a double major in Biochemistry could help make her a more qualified (and marketable) medical technologist. She says that working as a chemistry tutor was one of her favorite things about her UM-Flint experience.

“I really loved being able to work with other students and help them,” Evelyn says. “It just brightens your day to bump into someone that you know and someone you’ve helped.”

Thanks to her research, tutoring, GPA, and dedication, Evelyn earned the Maize & Blue Award, UM-Flint’s highest academic honor. She is currently working as a phlebotomist ad was accepted for an internship at Beaumont Health to become a state-certified medical technologist. She begins her internship at Beaumont Health in January.