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Reflections on a Premier Pathway: Advice from Halle Halbkat

Halle poses for photo.

Q: How has the Honors College at SDSU influenced your current path? 

A: Being part of the Honors College at SDSU changed my life. I started college fully intending to go on to professional school after graduation and study physical therapy. Then I started my Honors Independent Study. During my junior year, I worked with Dr. Scott Pedersen as my Independent Study faculty advisor developing and writing a dissection guide for the anatomy course at SDSU. By working on the dissection guide, I was able to deepen my knowledge and understanding of the human body, get practice writing clear and concise dissection instructions, and gain teaching experience. I loved the work and felt so fulfilled being in the anatomy lab. After completing my Independent Study, I realized I wanted to teach anatomy as my career. Now, I'm in graduate school training to one day be an anatomy professor. 

The Honors experience also taught me not to be afraid of doing difficult things. When I decided I wanted to teach anatomy, I thought the best thing to do would be to go to grad school and earn a PhD. That was more work and schooling than I had ever imagined myself doing. My graduate research is on molecular genetics and cell biology, specifically a type of pediatric bone cancer (Ewing sarcoma), which is something I wasn't all that interested in while in college. I knew it was going to be difficult, but it will be worth it in the end. 

Q: What advice would you give current students? 

A: So much advice!

Study! It's much easier to start a class strong and maintain that grade than it is to dig yourself out of a hole.

Be involved! If there's a club or organization that interests you, join it! If you play an instrument, play in The Pride! It is possible to take lots of classes and do well in school while being involved in extracurriculars.

Have fun! Go to the football games, go out with your friends, take part in the Hobo Day activities. Take advantage of everything Brookings and SDSU have to offer.