A community that creates opportunities
Before arriving at St. Olaf College, Zachariah Tritz ’17 had never conducted research. He wasn’t an athlete. And he certainly didn’t consider himself musically talented.
Yet during his four years on the Hill, he got involved in the St. Olaf Gospel Choir, became the co-captain of the Boxing Club, and had the opportunity to participate in research projects that have shaped his career plans.
That, he says, is what makes the Hill such an exceptional place to spend four years.
“Being involved in a number of extracurricular activities has enabled me to connect across disciplines with faculty and students I never would have met otherwise,” Tritz says.
The St. Olaf Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (CURI) program gave Tritz the opportunity to conduct genetic research alongside Associate Professor of Biology Kim Kandl. He was then selected to participate in the University of Minnesota’s Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program, where he spent several months studying the immune system’s response to colorectal cancer.
Hometown: Woodbury, Minnesota
Major: Biology, Chemistry
On Campus: Great Conversation, St. Olaf Gospel Choir, TRIO Educational Talent Search, St. Olaf Boxing Club, St. Olaf Habitat for Humanity, Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (CURI), Island Biology in the Bahamas course
Scholarship: T. Dean Gillund and Andrea Brynestad Gillund Scholarship Fund, George A. and Anne J. Beito Endowed Scholarship, Henry and Blondina Otto Endowed Scholarship
Those experiences helped Tritz decide to pursue a Ph.D. in cancer biology, with the ultimate goal of eventually becoming a college professor.
“Without the opportunity to conduct research as an undergraduate, I never would have discovered my passion for scientific research,” he says.