One of the touchstones of a Whitworth education is the opportunity for students and faculty to work together to consider and solve real-world issues. For Nichole Boyd, ’13, that means working alongside one of her chemistry professors, Trisha Duffey, to find an early diagnosis of a rare genetic disease called mucopolysaccharidosis VI (MVP VI). MPS VI is difficult to diagnose, and results in irreversible skeletal and organ damage in children. Through their one-on-one work in the lab, Boyd and Duffey are developing a method to identify patients early and therefore allow for early treatment intervention.
“I know I can rest assured that the professors are there to help me personally get where I want to be,” she says. “[Professor Duffey] was always willing to spend time with me in order to help me understand and succeed. Whitworth really encourages this kind of interaction through research and study-abroad opportunities, as well as through ‘Dine with a Mind,’ which is a way for students and professors to get together and talk over coffee. I have found these opportunities very beneficial.”
After Whitworth, Nichole plans to serve in the mission field and then attend medical school. “I am so grateful to be part of a university that encourages me to use what I know and love to help others.”