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Scott Mulrooney Sets Undergraduates' Dreams in Motion

From the moment incoming freshman walk into orientation, staff and faculty remind students of how pivotal it can be to get to know your professors. Being involved in academia, professors hold a key to connections and assistance with a student’s current learning and their future endeavors. Within Michigan State University, one professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics has had proof of how these lessons are relevant and important.

Back in 2014, Scott Mulrooney, the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, was offered the opportunity to teach two workshops to the graduate students at Kyoto University in Japan on active learning teaching methods. Coming back to campus with that experience, Dr. Mulrooney was quick to enlighten his students on the opportunities that Kyoto University had to offer, with several of these students gaining interest and inquiring about them. Having known the students, he was quick to help with their letters of recommendation and assist them with the application process, allowing two students to succeed in making it into the university’s Master’s program. Connor Park, a 2015 graduate of Microbiology now attends classes at Kyoto University along with Elizabeth Shimoura, a 2015 Human Biology graduate. In the application process, Shimoura received a prestigious government MEXT scholarship from Japan that allows her to attend Kyoto University with most of her costs covered.

The connection with these students didn’t stop there either. In the spring of 2018, Dr. Mulrooney made a visit to Connor and Elizabeth while on a vacation and Japan, and to this day remains a contact in their careers. According to Mulrooney, Connor is fulfilling a lifelong dream to live in Japan and Elizabeth is able to connect with family that resides in Japan. Both students will be graduating from the program in August of 2019.

While students are flooded with a large amount of information in and outside of the classroom, lessons like these should be kept in mind as these little things can lead to big opportunities.

Scott Mulrooney, Kyoto University Partnership

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