Student Profiles: Maria (Mia) Mochin-Peters
Mia was finishing up an Associate's degree in Biotechnology at Baltimore City Community College when a professor recommended she continue her education with the DMRT program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. One thing immediately caught her attention. "I loved the idea of learning in an environment that has such a small student-to-faculty ratio," she says. "My professors are accessible and approachable; they know me by my first name and what type of learner I am. I get to know them as both professionals and as real people, which has enriched my experience."
The instructors also know what it's like to work in the fields they teach. "My instructors are knowledgeable, with an amazing breadth of experience," Mia raves. "They are working professionals who are involved and active in their field of expertise, so there are many opportunities for students to be involved in active research projects."
Mia was quick to take advantage of this hands-on experience. "Right now I'm doing a research project with Dr. Pinero, a biotech project," she explains. "Doing these kinds of projects is optional, but I'm getting credit for the work I'm doing. I like this science-based curriculum, and I especially like the emphasis placed on laboratory instruction. You are learning practical skills; you are moving and doing rather than always sitting in a classroom. The small class size allows the professors to observe and guide in the laboratory, too. So when you leave for the day, you really feel like you have learned a new skill."
Mia, a recipient of the University System of Maryland 2+2+2 scholarship, believes the DMRT program also offers the chance to stretch beyond the boundaries of biotechnology or medical technology. "Being part of the School of Medicine affords you the opportunity to interact with graduate students and residents working at the University Hospital; attend talks and seminars associated with the graduate schools; and interact with the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, Medicine and Law," Mia says. "The opportunities for learning are endless. This is a great program, whether your goal is to enter the workforce after graduation or enter a graduate school. You are fully prepared for either."