Survey of recent graduates from the Natural Sciences Division


have earned an advanced degree or are pursuing one.


said MC prepared them “very well” or “well” for graduate studies.


said they would choose MC again for their undergraduate degree.

Why study Biology at MC?

The curriculum in biology provides the student sound preparation in the major areas of biological science while permitting concentration in specialized areas of particular interest. Field study in the nearby mountains and lakes and opportunity for research through Oak Ridge Associated Universities and National Laboratories such as Argonne, Jefferson, and Oak Ridge complement the curriculum.

The Major in Biology provides a comprehensive curriculum for students planning careers in which biological knowledge plays a central role. With careful elective choice students may pursue careers as professional biologists in any of the numerous sub fields and enter graduate school programs that lead to research-oriented careers, or they may enter medical school or other health-related programs.

MC Works

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

Meet a current student

Photo of Shannon Reagan

Shannon Reagan ’20
Hometown: Tullahoma, Tenn.

With a career goal of becoming a physician assistant, Shannon declared a biology major and enrolled in courses such as genetics, anatomy and physiology, microbiology and developmental biology. She applied her classroom and laboratory lessons to real-life situations as a patient care assistant at Park West Hospital in Knoxville and fulfilled her prerequisite
health care experience and shadowing hours required for PA schools at East Tennessee Medical Group in Maryville. Shannon has been accepted to PA school and is excited to begin her career in health care. “The courses related to human health allowed me to expand my knowledge in an area that has always interested me, and they also solidified my aptitude for studying medical topics and my choice to pursue Physician Assistant school,” she said. “Maryville College has provided me with invaluable research opportunities and chances to expand my education in a broad range of disciplines.”

Outcomes of Recent Gradsclick or touch to open

David Haskins

David Lee Haskins ’14

Currently: Ph.D. Student in the University of Georgia's Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program

As an MC student gathering information for his Senior
Study, David spent a summer in Michigan’s Manistee
National Forest, studying the small mammal prey base
of the American marten. In graduate school, his focus
shifted to reptiles and pollution. He completed his master’s
degree from the University of Georgia in 2016. His current research examines the effects of contaminants in water snakes on the Savannah River.
“Coursework, internships, my Senior Study and especially my mentors at MC were all
important in preparing me for graduate school,” he said. “I want to eventually work as a
professor or in another research-focused position. MC helped me define this by helping
me realize how much I enjoy research and working with others.”

Mary Feely

Mary Feely ’15

Hometown: Chattanooga, Tenn.

Mary spent the summer of 2014 in Michigan’s Manistee National Forest, tracking the small mammal prey of the American marten, a species that was reintroduced to the area in the 1980s. She is the second MC student to travel north to participate in this research project.

"Classes at Maryville College such as evolution and ecology have given me important experience in conservation biology and telemetry," she said. "It was in Dr. David Unger's classes that I learned the necessary skill set to work in this field. He has been invaluable in training me for this kind of work and helping me determine what I want to pursue as a career."

Ashley KissickAshley Kissick ’07

Currently: Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Purdue University

As an MC student, Ashley studied parasitoid wasp movement in Costa Rican agroforestry systems and later worked at EARTH University in Costa Rica as an academic coordinator. Her doctoral research at Purdue University investigated mechanisms of ecosystem resilience operating in forest beetle communities. Avian visual perception of beetle prey was also used to study predator-prey interactions at the community level. Her postdoctoral research examines the spatial relationships among crop yield, landscape features and soil properties. “The foundational classroom knowledge, research tools and multidisciplinary perspective I gained from my MC professors have been invaluable to me as a researcher,” she said.

Ben Taylor

Benton Taylor '06

Currently: Pursuing a Ph.D. at Columbia University in New York City

As a student at MC, Ben developed a passion for scientific research while studying the poison dart frog in the tropical forests of Ecuador and Venezuela. Research for his master’s degree led him to Dominica, where he examined the processes that structure plant communities. His doctoral research centers on regeneration of tropical forests following deforestation and how this plays into global climate change models.

“The classroom knowledge I gained from Maryville College professors Swann, Threadgill and Crain, along with ample hands-on research, has provided me with an excellent toolset that I continue to use daily to better understand the natural world.”

Stanley Sisk ’01
Oral Care Partners
Townsend & Knoxville, TN

Kenneth Kirby ‘03
Physical Therapist
OSU Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Columbus, Ohio

Benjamin Bean ‘03
Program Manager
Tennessee Valley Authority
Arab, Alabama

Will Lehman ‘03
Senior Manager, Neurology Marketing Research
Teva Pharmaceuticals
Olathe, Kansas

Rachel Huffines Goode ‘05
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, AR

Jessica Pope Flinchum ‘06
Emergency Room Physician
Maryville, TN

Robert Floyd ‘06
Conservation Biologist / Natural Resources Specialist
Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML)
Richmond, VA

Ginger Lovingood ‘06
Cherokee Health Systems
Maryville, TN

April Byrge ‘07
Park Ranger (Interpretation)
National Park Service
Cherokee, NC

Kate Warner Asquith ‘08
Associate Attorney
Southern Environmental Law Center
Chapel Hill, NC

Andrew Alfano ‘09
Instructor of International Baccalaureate Chemistry
The International School of Panama
Panama City, Panama

Scott Gillespie ‘09
Emory University
Atlanta, GA

Ashley Burnett Toney ‘09
Physician Assistant
Summit Medical Group
Maryville, TN

Rebecca Heard ‘11
Research technologist
Molecular Pathology Lab Network
Maryville, TN

Megan Lock ‘12
Field Scientist
Tidewater Environmental Services, Inc.
Charleston, SC

Ashley Gaines ‘13
Middle and High School Science Teacher
Maryville Christian School
Maryville, TN