How RCTC’s Science Programs Propel Students Forward


We recently invited back three RCTC graduates who started their science studies at the College to see what they’re up to now.


Heather Simenson.

Heather Simenson, Alison Seemann, and Alexander Kehren have all gone on to great careers thanks to a love of science. Read about Simenson’s experience from 2003 to 2007 below as a pre-pharmacy student.

RCTC: What was your time like here at RCTC?

Simenson: I spent some time working in admissions my first few years. I really liked that. It helped me get into the culture at RCTC and meet some of the students. My last year I worked in tutoring. Biology, calculus, some English, mostly science. That was a really, really fun job.


S: I grew up here and wanted to go to the U of M (University of Minnesota) for the pharmacy program. RCTC was close to home, I could save money, was able to complete credits that were guaranteed to transfer, so I didn’t have to waste money on credits that didn’t transfer.

RCTC: What did you do after attending RCTC?

I went to the U of M, but they had a waiting list and so I pursued neuroscience instead. I graduated with a Bachelors in neuroscience.

RCTC: What do you do now?

S: I’ve worked for the U of M in the lab doing obesity research. And then I was hired to a medical device company as a data analyst. I helped start that department. I worked at Medtronic and now work at home for VivaQuant, a medical device company.

It’s been a really exciting journey for me starting in the labs and moving up to the corporate science, I guess you?d call it. Now that I’m in corporate I’m having fun with the different jobs I’ve worked at.

I get to work at home and do a variety of things like designing billboards and working with customers.

RCTC: Looking back, what did RCTC do for you?

S: The teachers were really good in science and math. (Instructor) Dr. Heather Sklenicka, of organic chemistry, was a big supporter of me. I wasn’t quite sure if I would pass. She made me put my nose down, work hard, and pass her class. It was my big intro to getting through tough coursework, which was critical for graduating at the U of M. It would have been a lot harder.

It was such a huge part of the start of my college career and put me in a good place. It was weird because I never really thought of sciences as a career until talking to Heather and some instructors there. It was the first place I learned I loved neuroscience. I’m really thankful for the people at RCTC.

You will find part two here, and part three here.

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