Christina Garvis, Senior Majoring in Biology and NSBE Secretary, Leaves Her Mark as a Mentor

Thursday, March 24, 2022
Christina Garvis

When Christina Garvis graduates from Rose-Hulman this spring, she’ll leave campus with a degree in biology, a new job and valuable experience as a campus leader.

When Christina Garvis graduates from Rose-Hulman this spring, she’ll leave campus with a degree in biology, a new job and valuable experience as a campus leader. For the past four years, she has been an instrumental part of the Rose chapter of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and has made a difference mentoring younger biology students.

“What is wonderful about Christina is she has taken the responsibility of mentoring junior students through their senior thesis experience,” says Dr. Ella Ingram, professor of biology and Garvis’ thesis advisor. “Christina has really reached across projects and across advisors to provide so much useful support for our juniors.”

Ingram watched Garvis shine in weekly group accountability check-in groups comprised of junior and senior biology thesis students. 

“Christina is always willing to make suggestions to her peers for the best ways to achieve success while going through the thesis experience,” she says. “And even more importantly, she's showing them different models of how to take this overwhelming project and turn it into actionable steps.” 

The Mason, Ohio, native first heard about Rose-Hulman through her sister, Cherie, who is a Rose alumna. After touring campus and participating in a senior weekend, Garvis chose Rose because she loved the school’s open and welcoming community environment. A self-described science enthusiast from a young age, Garvis pursued a biology major because of the vast opportunities the program of study provides.

“I love being able to look at all organisms and see how life works,” says Garvis. “I like working with microbes, as well as plants and animals. Biology lets you examine things on a micro, small scale, and a larger ecological scale. In either way, you’re actively observing living things.”

For her senior research project, Garvis explored a honeysuckle species and tried to determine a way to halt its invasive growth. Under the direction of Ingram, she conducted her research on a site Oakley Observatory and monitored the conditions from spring quarter of her junior year through fall of her senior year. 

While initially interested in medical school and becoming a doctor, being a biology student at Rose has opened her eyes to myriad opportunities available to an individual in that science field.

“What I’ve learned is I can do so many other things,” says Garvis. “I still have that interest in medicine, but there are so many other aspects of the medical field I can pursue.”

After graduation, Garvis will work as a pharmaceutical research assistant at LabCorp in Greenwood, Indiana where she will work with animal models and dissection.

It was at her initial weekend on campus Garvis learned about NSBE and stayed involved with the organization throughout her four years. She admits the friends she made through NSBE feel like family and it’s made a big difference in her four years on campus. Garvis is currently the chapter secretary and helps promote events, as well as works with the president and vice president to coordinate company visits to campus. She also coordinates NSBE events, including Soul Food Sunday and the club’s talent show.

During her first and second years, Garvis was active in the Rose drama club. She performed in the play “Almost, Maine” and the musical “Aida.” She also spends time at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, studying and using the resources the organization provides students.