For Chesney Burgweger, Southern Nazarene University may not have been her first choice, but it ended up becoming her best choice.
The senior biochemistry major originally enrolled in a large public university with the desire of having the “ big college experience” that so many of her friends had talked about in high school; however, during her freshman year, she paid a visit to one of her friends attending SNU. Immediately, Burgweger was taken with the friendliness of the students and science faculty.
“During my visit I had the opportunity to eat a dinner with one of my professors, who would later become one of my favorites,” she said. “There was something that just drew me to SNU and it was a great opportunity.”
After her visit, it became obvious that a change was in order and she transferred to SNU. Burgweger was also impressed by SNU’s pre-med program, which is recognized as one of the best in the state. The balance of a quality education and a close-knit community where professors and students care for each other was just the sort of place that Burgweger knew she needed to be.
“The seniors and juniors are great about reaching out to the sophomores and freshmen,” she explained. “The professors show a personal interest in you and help you succeed and prepare you for grad school or medical school. That’s something you don’t have at larger schools.
Burgweger, who hails from De Soto, Kansas, said she is still deciding on exactly which field of medicine she will pursue upon graduating from SNU. She is leaning towards pediatrics or becoming a general physician because of her love of kids and teens. In fact, Burgweger’s passion for young people led to her to help lead a small group of pre-teen girls at her church. She said the opportunity to lead and mentor these girls has been very rewarding for her.
“I’ve built up a passion for young people and hope to use that in my career as a doctor,” added Burgweger.
As Burgweger considers her own future once she graduates from SNU, she is also excited about the new future that awaits the university’s science department as a result of the Campaign for the Sciences that is currently underway. She feels the addition of the new 25,891-square-foot laboratory will help tremendously in attracting new students and expanding their educational options.
“Our science professors have put the time into creating a unique environment for students here at SNU,” said Burgweger, “and the new science building will be phenomenal with the new labs. It’s something that future students can look forward to.”