Luke Erber Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics, University of Minnesota Concordia University Chicago (IL), Class of 2011 No Share Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Facebook Share this page on LinkedIn Print this page Email this page Author Photo Page ContentMy educational journey has been a major factor in shaping my career. My parents worked overseas my entire childhood. During that time, I gained several educational experiences, including attending a small international American school, a large Michigan public school, and homeschooling. When it came to making the college decision, I had no doubt that a liberal arts education was the right choice. I sought the same small classroom experience in my college education that I had enjoyed during my high school years. I was looking for teachers who would mentor me on a chosen career path and push me every day to give my best in the classroom and also give back to my community. Furthermore, as the college experience is more than time in the classroom, I sought a place that would guide me through these transformative years.While Concordia’s faculty members are experts in their chosen fields, they are teachers first. As teachers, they care about our success not only in learning, but also in making challenging decisions during these formative years of our lives. The faculty members at Concordia University Chicago were instrumental in every step of my college experience. These faculty members supported me by sitting down with me during my initial campus visit, by making schedule changes to allow me to enter a class that I desperately wanted to take, and by writing letters of recommendation to the University of Minnesota. Some of their greatest lessons I have applied towards making everyday decisions. My physics professor taught me to value every detail. Although this idea was hard learned in my physics class, it has sharpened my laboratory skills and has focused my communication skills when teaching. In short, the hidden gems of liberal arts colleges are the faculty members. They are a passionate group of individuals who put their students’ learning and success first in their careers. It is this motivation and dedication to their students that has contributed towards my own interest in pursuing a career in higher education. Luke Erber is a graduate research assistant in the department of biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. His research interests include identifying protein-DNA interactions responsible for cancer function. He previously served as a junior scientist at the Baughn Lab at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he authored a scholarly paper describing novel clinical tuberculosis strains having resistance to treatment with the second-line drug, para-aminosalicylic acid. Erber holds a BS in chemistry and biology from Concordia University Chicago, where he was a Presidential Honor’s Scholar.