DJ McGee: Eliminating Barriers, Impacting Students

As a MSUB student, several experiences have impacted me greatly – most of which can be attributed to the faculty and research opportunities. The best part about this university is the meaningful relationships that can be built. I have gained several mentors because of the time and effort faculty are willing to put into fostering the student body.

The research I conduct under the guidance of Dr. David Butler and Dr. Lynn George seeks to further the understanding of what makes neurological diseases so devastating. I am investigating axonopathy, a disease characteristic which causes abnormal cellular growth of neuronal projections called axons. I do not believe the possibilities made available at MSUB would be as frequent at any other school.

Scholarships have also been crucial to my success. Without scholarships, things like tuition, books, food, and shelter would be almost impossible to afford. It is difficult to focus on studying when you must choose between a textbook or putting gas in your vehicle. Scholarships make it easier to prioritize education by limiting the number of stressors negatively impacting students’ lives.

A more modern, stable environment in the new Yellowstone Science and Health Building will also allow students to focus their time and energy on studying. I believe it is a much-needed renovation that will tremendously benefit teaching capabilities and therefore, the student body. The new building will provide an environment that is much more conducive to student learning.

After I graduate, I plan to enter an M.D./Ph.D. program and continue researching neurological diseases. I hope to one day discover a treatment regimen used to reduce or eliminate the underlying issues. A program of this caliber will be extremely difficult to complete, but my time at MSUB has prepared me for the road ahead.