Q&A with microbiology student Emily Mattson

From Spokane, Washington, and a graduate of Mead Senior High School, Emily Mattson is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in microbiology with a minor in criminal justice. While she initially had set her sights on being a doctor, when she graduates in the spring she now dreams of a career in the FBI.

How has WSU prepared you for your future?

WSU has prepared me in ways that I wasn’t expecting. I came to Pullman expecting to complete a pre-med pathway, go to medical school, and become a doctor – that was my goal. WSU opened my eyes to different possibilities and helped me realize I don’t have to go to medical school to be successful. I changed my major and my career choice, and I am way happier with the course my life is taking.

What’s your favorite thing about WSU?

My favorite thing about WSU is the welcoming environment. I love going to football games, being with my friends, and then having someone I’ve never met high-five me and cheer with me. We are always cheering each other on, win or lose.

What’s your favorite course you’ve taken at WSU?

I have enjoyed all of my MBIOS classes; however, my favorite course I’ve ever taken was MBIOS 411: Diagnostic Medical Bacteriology, with Dr. Johannesty “Jojo” Avillan. It was one of the first classes I took after changing my major and I loved it. I loved working hands-on with all of the different bacteria, different techniques, different results, and seeing how it impacts the body. My favorite part was discovering our “unknowns,” where we got a sample from the body and had to determine the two or three different bacteria mixed within.

What do you hope to do when you graduate? 

When I graduate, I plan to apply to attend school on the East Coast and obtain my master’s in forensic science. From that program, I hope to become a forensic scientist, with my dream being to work for the FBI one day.

Do you have a job or work in a lab?

Currently, I work in two labs and as a TA for MBIOS 101. I work in the media lab located in Eastlick Hall where I help prep all of the media and tests for all MBIOS classes. In my other lab, I work under Dr. MacLean and my graduate student Jenna Douglas, where we are immortalizing endometrial cells and knocking out insulin receptors to determine if they have an impact on pregnancy. I TA for Dr. Helmick where I teach a lab section of MBIOS 101 twice a week.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

I love to play soccer; I like to bake; and I enjoy going out with my friends.

What’s a unique fun fact about you?

I learned my ABCs to “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath.