(Fruit) flying toward a bright future
Dentistry, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and fruit flies. You’d never group these three things together, but for John Eshak, all three make up part of his experience at IU Northwest.
When Eshak started his first classes at IU Northwest, he assumed he would eventually transfer to Bloomington. But after getting to know professors and becoming involved on campus, he ended up calling IU Northwest home for the duration of his bachelor’s degree in biology.
“One of my favorite parts about attending IU Northwest was how close I have become with my professors,” he said. “Being able to know all of my professors on a personal level has not only helped me on an educational level, but has truly inspired my career in STEM.”
One of those professors was Ming Gao, an assistant professor of biology. Gao’s research focuses on fruit flies and how their gene mutations give us insight into human reproductive disorders. Eshak had the unique opportunity to work in Gao’s lab. He said he had the chance to genetically modify and create five mutated fruit fly strains and is currently training other students in this mutagenesis work.
“Research has helped me explore the art of problem solving and abstract thinking,” Eshak said. “I would not be able to thank Dr. Gao enough for the opportunities and trust he has placed in me.”
Now that his undergrad time has come to an end, Eshak is looking forward to future enrollment in dental school. But before that, he’s excited to take a much-deserved gap year, where he plans to expand his dental experience, travel, and continue training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Although Eshak has plenty of plans and ways to spend his time going forward, he wasn’t always so confident in time management and had to develop these skills. At one point during his college career, he was conducting research, taking admissions exams, working as a Sunday school teacher, honing his martial arts skills, and of course, still trying to spend time with friends and family.
“With all of these responsibilities, each hour of my day had to be properly planned,” Eshak said. “By writing down and organizing my thought processes, I was able to evade some of the stress of these responsibilities and I was able to take more of a tactical approach.”
Surely, Eshak’s “tactical” approach will come in handy as he enters dental school. That, along with the other skills he developed at IU Northwest are certain to set him up for success.
“IU Northwest has helped me meet my goals by delivering one of the best educations I could have possibly received,” he said. “From the Writing Center to tutoring, IU Northwest offers as much as possible to help students succeed.”