The December graduate spent her undergraduate and graduate school days at St. Cloud State University researching diabetes with Professor Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje.
This fall she graduates with her master’s in biological sciences, and next fall she will be starting a doctoral program to work toward a career that will combine her passion for research and travel.
“I have been interested in biology since I was a child as it really initiated my curiosity for learning and asking questions,” Rogan said. “I love this area because it helps provide explanations for how life works, and the knowledge gained can be a real benefit to people.”
In Cetkovic’s lab Rogan focused research on type 1 diabetes and how environmental pollutants and toxins affect the disease’s development using experimental mouse models.
Rogan started her college career at North-Hennepin Community College earning her associate degree before transferring to St. Cloud State to earn her undergraduate degree in biomedical science in 2016.
As an undergraduate, Rogan worked on BPA, a chemical used in plastics, as part of a team that examined how treatment with BPA affected immune cell populations. As a biological sciences graduate student Rogan worked on research that explored compounds that could help prevent or reduce the disease’s development.
“Initially I wanted to get involved in research to have more hands-on experience with concepts I have learned in classes,” she said. “As I got involved in research, I realized how it can really be used to help people, and I have really enjoyed the teaching and training components from my research experiences.”
As a graduate student she helped run the lab as they investigated the effects of an African seed extract on type 1 diabetes development.
“I have had such a fantastic experience working with Dr. C that it’s difficult to put into words,” she said. “It has been so incredible. I have learned how to run a lab, train undergraduates, become more comfortable with presenting and have learned many other numerous skills that will be a huge asset for my future.”
What she’s learned at St. Cloud State is that it’s okay when things don’t go right, how to present to academically-diverse audiences and confidence in her abilities.
This week she received her first acceptance notification from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has a few more applications out that she’s waiting to hear from before making a decision on which program to pursue.
“I am very excited to continue onward, but it’s been incredibly difficult to come to terms with that I’ll be done at SCSU,” Rogan said. “I have made great connections with many of the biology faculty. The biology department has basically been my second home for the last four years.”