At a Glance:
Renee E. (Wenig) Vickman -- Class of 2011 (Married Bob Vickman, Class of 2009, in 2014)
Majors: Biology and Mathematics
Involvement at SNC: Research Assistant to Dr. David W. Hunnicutt; Microbiology TA; Honors Program; PRIDE Scholar; RA in Michels Hall '08-'09, Bergstrom Hall '09-'10, and Associate Hall Director in Michels Hall '10-'11; Biology Club and Pre-Health Club member
Current Occupation: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Location: Chicago, IL
Future Plans: “I plan to continue working toward a position as a faculty member at a college/university. Also, our family hopes to continue to migrate north back toward ‘home.’”
“Upon leaving SNC in 2011, I moved to West Lafayette, IN where I began my graduate studies at Purdue University. I entered through the Purdue University Interdisciplinary Life Sciences (PULSe) Program and completed one year of rotations before choosing to get my PhD doing research in the laboratory of Dr. Timothy Ratliff (Department of Comparative Pathobiology). My graduate work investigated the involvement of a cholesterol-related enzyme in growth of prostate cancer cells. I completed my PhD in July 2017 and began my postdoc research position in August 2017 at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL. I am now working in Dr. Simon Hayward's laboratory at NorthShore, where we are primarily interested in intercellular communication within the prostate tumor microenvironment, including how stromal cells may play a supportive role in cancer growth.
“Being a member of the Honors Program and the experience of mentoring and supporting Honors Program students as an RA in Bergstrom Hall gave me a broad network of friendships and many great memories of my time at St. Norbert. Even though it was slightly intimidating entering graduate school with students primarily from large universities or state-of-the-art research facilities/equipment, I quickly learned that the "bench skills" and thorough understanding of basic scientific principles I gained at St. Norbert were more than enough to help me succeed in graduate school. Over time, I have also learned that my liberal arts education from SNC is more valuable than any experience I have, because no advanced career (including mine) is restricted to a single discipline. This background certainly proves useful while writing papers/grants or communicating my work to both scientific and lay audiences.”
We are so proud to call Renee an honors alumnae, and we are so excited to see what the future holds for such a driven individual!