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Student Spotlight: Blowflies and Biochem

Sarah Ermatinger headshot
Sarah Ermatinger

For Sarah Ermatinger, forensics and biochemistry go hand in hand. The rising sophomore is not only a CALS honors student but an award-winning cheerleader.

Having wanted to major in biochemistry for as long as she can remember, Ermatinger said that the Spend a Day at State summer program helped convince her to join the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

What is your career goal? Why did you choose it?

I am working towards my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with future plans of getting into the accelerated Master’s program. I am hoping to get that done in four years because of the Advanced Placement credits that I came to NC State with.

After entering the workforce and narrowing down what I most want to do in the forensic field, I plan on going back to school to get a Ph.D.

What have you learned that you will take with you when you graduate?

I have just completed my first year, but I have learned to take advantage of every opportunity as it comes along, to meet new people and make new connections.

I also learned that if you apply yourself, you can meet your goals and even exceed what you thought you could do. In addition I have learned that time management is a skill that takes practice.

Tell me about an experience outside the classroom.

I am an intern with Dr. Seth Faith at the College of Veterinary Medicine research lab at NC State. I participate in lab meetings every week to discuss ongoing research and to share new perspectives from people not directly involved in the lab. The collaboration is really amazing. I was part of the research and background work on the topic of blowfly development on corpses to determine a more precise time of death.

Next semester, I will be working with Dr. Faith on projects that involve DNA, which is of particular interest to me.

I am also a cheerleader for the Lady Pack All-Girls Club team at NC State that placed fifth at the nationals at Daytona. I have been a cheerleader for the past 11 years and was on the high school state championship team for the Bel Air Bobcats in my home state of Maryland. Being a cheerleader has taught me about confidence, working as a team, trust, bonding and life experiences that I carry with me, no matter whether I am in the classroom, at an internship or on the job.

Best thing about CALS in 5 words.

Everyone is nice and helpful.

– S. Watson