Tracey German, B.S. ’10, chose Henderson because it offered the biology major she wanted along with opportunities for study abroad and enjoying her favorite sport: competitive swimming. In addition to receiving the Board of Trustees Scholarship, Tracey said the support and enthusiasm of the professors and coaches she met on campus made the decision easy. “When I came and toured the school and met Dr. Engman, he had such a passion for his work and so much knowledge and offered opportunities to travel while getting credit toward my degree, so I knew that I wanted to be in his department,” she said.
Tracey already knew she was headed to dental school, and Henderson’s biology program would allow her to meet all of the prerequisites. She also decided to add a Spanish major, which proved to be a needed distraction from the rigors of science classes. “Being a double major was a strong benefit for me; I was never overwhelmed by just one subject,” she said.
Although she said her Zoology and Botany classes were “a wake-up call” for her study skills, she knew that she would be able to work off stress during practice for the Red Wave, Henderson’s swimming team. Like her studies, the swim team was another area in which she excelled. In spite of enduring two shoulder surgeries during her four years at Henderson, she spent all four years on the NSISC All-Academic team. “Swimming taught me to never give up, that I can fight back from anything, and that determination pays off,” she said.
Tracey also took advantage of many of the unique opportunities offered to her through the biology department. She studied abroad in Panama and conducted molecular genetic research on cave organisms in Blanchard Springs Caverns in Stone County, Ark., under the guidance of a biology professor. She said the research is still in progress today. Tracey also taught two semesters of Introduction to Biology Lab, which she said was a great learning experience. “It’s one thing to learn information for a test, but when you have to teach that information to another person you have to understand it on a whole other level,” she said. “It helped me obtain a confidence I never had before…and I know it benefited me in my interview skills for dental school.”
With all of her accomplishments, it was no surprise that Tracey was recognized as an “Outstanding Graduating Senior” at Henderson. She was accepted to the Tufts University Program in Dental Medicine, where she currently is a first year dental student. Although she said dental school is the “most challenging task” she’s ever taken on, Tracey feels her undergraduate experience at Henderson gave her an advantage right from the first semester. “I began to realize I was ahead of the other [dental school] students because I had already covered about 85 percent of the material we were learning while I was at Henderson. And while my classes did get harder and into information I had never seen before, I took confidence into that section of the class because Henderson had prepared me so well,” she said.