Hometown: St. Joseph, Missouri
Unlike many students who enter college directly out of high school, chemistry major Merle Phillips returned to Missouri Western after being in the workforce for four years. “Over the span of my time in the workforce, I experienced the challenges of not having a college education, and realized that if I wanted to live to my full potential I would need to go back and put in the work to do so,” he said.
And Merle put in the work. During his time at Missouri Western, he has conducted award-winning research in cancer biology and secured a summer research internship at Harvard University. He was subsequently accepted into Harvard’s biological and biomedical science PhD program. “The success I’ve managed to obtain as an undergraduate would not have been possible without the faculty at Missouri Western.”