Meet Andy Lewis
By the time he finished his undergraduate and postgraduate education at UD with a B.S. in biology in 2008 and an M.S. in biology in 2011, Andy Lewis was a published author in his field, had worked as a laboratory manager and research assistant, and received awards, grants and scholarships in recognition of his dedication to biology. Andy Lewis recalls his UD education as an enriching experience that helped to provide him with the skill set to succeed in his career as a scientist.
Andy attributes his work experiences as an undergraduate and graduate student at UD, particular courses offered at UD, and the connections he made on campus as all having a significant impact on his career path. As an undergraduate student, Andy worked with UD biology professor Brother Don Geiger to create management plans for the Greene County Park District for all of their parks and reserves. He also worked with one of UD biology faculty member Dr. Kelly Williams’ graduate students to collect salamander samples in Ohio and Indiana for genetic research. As a graduate student, Andy acted as a laboratory manager to mentor the undergraduate and graduate students in the lab with their projects, while also serving as one of the leads on the storm-water runoff research that the lab performed for the City of Dayton Water Department.
"The 'real world' experiences that I received through the jobs I held that helped train me for my career after graduating," Andy says. "At UD I made lasting friendships and connections that have aided me in finding work and succeeding in my field. The life experiences such as my Marine Biology class in Hawaii and Culture, Biodiversity, and Resource Management class in Costa Rica gave me unforgettable memories and opportunities."
UD biology professors also made significant contributions to Andy’s education, career, and personal life.
"There are many professors that helped shape my future," Andy says. "There were Dr. Don Geiger and Dr. Kelly Williams that gave me my first jobs in the biological research field where I realized that this was what I wanted to do the rest of my life. Dr. Mark Nielsen helped me plan and prepare for applying to graduate school. Drs. Carl Friese and Ryan McEwan were on my graduate committee and helped guide my research into something excellent. Dr. Eric Benbow was my graduate school advisor and gave me a chance to get my master’s. Lastly, Dr. Albert Burky let me help on the Costa Rica trip where I had the time of my life and proposed to my wife."
After graduating from UD, Andy began working as a lab technician and microbiologist for Advanced Testing Laboratory, where he now works as a genomic analyst. In his current job as an analyst, Andy serves as a molecular biologist for Advanced Testing Laboratory’s biotechnology group, where he studies RNA expression profiling.
Looking back on his college experience, one thing Andy learned still resonates with him.
"One of the most unique things that UD helped prepare me for is that science is an ever-changing field and you have to be ready to adapt with it or be left behind," he says.
A proud alumnus, Andy recognizes the value of his UD education and how it has helped shape his life and career into what they are today.
"I enjoyed the classes that I attended because all the teachers truly cared about what they taught and it showed," he says. "The chances to study abroad gave me opportunities to see places I never thought I would get to see and changed my life for the better every time. All the friends that I made as an undergraduate and graduate student that I still keep in contact today make my life that much richer."