by Hannah Bahney
With IU School of Medicine Research Technician Intern and Chemistry Recitation Leader already on his resume, it is hard to believe that Chancellor’s Scholar Joseph Boone is only half way through his sophomore year at IUPUI.
Boone’s research experience started in a freshman Honors Biology lab, where he and classmates worked to identify whether flies were male or female by studying the insects’ DNA. Additionally, as part of the Biology Freshman Work Program, he experimented with soybean species and how they’re affected by varying temperatures.
He says opportunities like his current job as a research technician intern at the IU Simon Cancer Center, where he studies the effectiveness of drugs on cancer cells, are what initially drew him to IUPUI. Boone is a part of the highly competitive Diversity Scholars Research Program designed for undergraduate students to become actively engaged in research with faculty members.
“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor; I feel it’s my calling and my purpose,” says Boone, whose dream job is to become an orthopedic trauma surgeon. “The chance to get a science degree here with all the experienced people and hospitals near by seemed like the best fit for me.”
As a biology major, he feels the IUPUI Honors College cultivates an encouraging academic environment that he says began his freshman year in the Honors Freshmen Residential Learning Community in the Tower.
“Living in the Tower definitely helped me stay focused on school work,” says Boone, who continues to live in Honors housing at the Riverwalk Campus Apartments. “It’s easier to be more driven if someone down the hall is in the same class and you can stay in and study together.”
The Honors Residential Community not only helped him thrive academically, but socially as well.
“It helped me build so many relationships,” says Boone, “and even now we all get together from time to time even though we’re all spread out.”
Boone credits the Honors College and its Peer Mentor Program for helping him make a smooth transition from high school to college.
“[The Honors College] was a new space to me and there are a lot of people down here, and the mentor program helped familiarize me with everything,” says Boone.
“My mentor was pre-med so they were able to help me identify good professors and classes to take.”
When it comes to excelling in a rigorous curriculum, Boone says it’s important to really put in the time and remember that it’s ok to ask for help.
“Always reach out and talk to people,” he says. “You never know where you might find someone who can point you in the right direction, whether it’s a peer or a faculty member.”