Clinical Research Project Evaluator, Sanford Clinical Research
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Background: My discipline and background is in neurodevelopment. Before taking on my current position I earned a MS from the University of South Dakota in Basic Biomedical Science in a neurodevelopmental lab under Dr. Jill Weimer. After earning my M.S. I worked in Dr. Weimer's lab as a research associate.
My current position is Clinical Research Project Evaluator at Sanford Clinical Research in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Responsibilities include aiding physicians with manuscript preparation, assisting in the development of protocols for investigator-initiated studies, and supporting physicians and surgeons with any other needs they may have with regards to research studies that are on-going or would like to get started.
Question 1: Why did you become a researcher/engineer/scientist?
Answer: I have always been extremely interested in science as a whole and as I started my post-secondary education I had a difficult time narrowing down a career path. Because of this I decided to try teaching since it would allow me to teach a wide variety of topics and, since I also played baseball, it would allow me to continue to be involved in sports. I initially earned a BS in Biology Education from the University of South Dakota and was a high school science teacher and baseball coach for seven years. As I started my teaching career I became more interested in doing "real, hands-on, bench-work science". However, it became evident that in order to get into an academic or private research laboratory I would need more experience and the best way to gain this would be to go back to school. I therefore enrolled in the Basic Biomedical Science program at University of South Dakota where under Dr. Weimer, I studied cortical development and eventually earned a masters degree. After working in Dr. Weimer's lab as a research associate for a short period of time I was asked to consider moving into my current position at Sanford Clinical Research.
Question 2: Share a story from your past that lead to your choosing your field of work.
Answer: One thing that helped to fuel my love of science as a whole was that while growing up my Grandpa was a veterinarian in a small town in South Dakota. It was great when we got to go stay with him because he would take us out on calls to see the animals and livestock and how he could help them. We would also get to hang out at the office and enjoy his company and see him perform a variety of surgeries on small animals. It really peaked my curiosity in not only animals but science as a whole.
Question 3: Tell us about a hobby or passion outside of work.
Answer: I am an avid sports fan and love rooting for the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, and Nebraska Cornhuskers. I also love playing amateur baseball in South Dakota and basketball at the community open gym at the high school.
Question 4: What's your favorite food? Got a sweet tooth? Caffeine junkie? Are you a chef or a restaurateur?
Answer: I love ice cream! Though we try to limit ourselves, my two boys and my wife all love to enjoy a bowl of ice cream loaded with toppings such as hot fudge, caramel, and cookies or other candies or even a Blizzard from Dairy Queen after supper. My favorite Blizzard flavor is cookie dough with chocolate ice cream.
Question 5: What is your favorite movie or TV show and why?
Answer: When I was a kid I loved "Jurassic Park.\ I would love watching this movie on rainy or snowy days when you couldn't get outside to play. I loved this movie because first of all I was a dinosaur junky growing up. I also loved the cinematography of the movie, as the dinosaur scenes were so stunning. It was a great movie for someone who loved science and dinosuars.
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