James Plumb

2016 Dedicated to Research


What makes you a Difference Maker?

What makes me a difference maker is my dedication and determination in the things I do, because much of what I do pertains to helping others in some way. One activity that I participate in is research, where I my professor, colleagues, and I are working on identifying potential targets to reduce the virulence in an opportunistic pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. This can lead to the development of new pharmaceutical agents, which is necessary since many current antimycotics are starting to become less effective due to resistance. This can potentially help many people in the future, including cancer patients who are immune suppressed due to chemotherapy, which makes them more susceptible to infections caused by C. albicans. Also, my dedication to help other students contributes to me being a difference maker. I have tutored in the Math Learning Center and I have been a Supplemental Instructor for Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Molecular Biology. On top of this I have lectured in Human Physiology and I am a Teacher’s Assistant in Chemistry. Helping students reach their goals is a big part of what makes me a difference maker.

Campus Achievements:

A few achievements I have had since I have been at the UM-Dearborn are mainly in academia. I have had a few semesters where I have had a 4.0 GPA, which is a great achievement for me and I have been very proud at the end of these semester, mainly because I worked hard to achieve this. Another achievement that I am very proud of is being selected as the Honor’s Scholar for my discipline (Biochemistry). Also, in research, my partners and I have gotten results on a project that had been trouble for others in the past. We even made a poster and presented this at U of M on our poster showing day. But among these achievements, I have also made Dean’s list for consecutive semesters and I have also received scholarships based on my academic merit. What I consider to be a great achievement though, which is undocumented, is all the thanks I get from the students that I have had the privilege to help succeed in their classes.

Leadership Experiences:

My leadership experience on campus mainly stems from my jobs where I interact and help students. I take on the role as a leader and role model in my duties as a teacher assistant and a supplemental instructor. These jobs require me to prepare and put together material that can aid the students to not only understand the material in the class in which they are taking, but to also be able to enhance their own studying skills. Many times when a student answers my questions I follow up by asking “why?”. My goal is not only to have my students be able to simply answer the questions, but it is to have the students reason and be able to explain how they came to the conclusion they did. I believe as scientist it is our duty to ask question and be able to reason about such questions and their conclusions. So, my leadership role in these jobs is geared toward leading the students to grow and expand their ability to reason.

What is your Dream Career?

My career goals start with me going to medical school and becoming a doctor. As of now, my plan is to specialize in either orthopedic surgery or emergency medicine. Whichever I choose, I hope to do a fellowship to further specialize in specifically trauma. One reason I am inclined to do this is because I like high paced environments and I work well under situations that provide this type of atmosphere. Another reason I want to work in trauma is because it will allow me the immediate gratification of getting to save peoples lives, which would be amazing. I would like to practice medicine for a few years while I also pursue a PhD part time that is geared toward medicine. After x amount of years practicing medicine then, I would like to potentially get a job as a professor at a university that I can teach and research at.

What was a Defining Moment at UM-Dearborn?

I don’t think I would say that I have one defining moment in particular, but that my “defining moment” encompasses my career as a student at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. I think this “defining moment” has to do with how I have done so well and flourished in my classes that I have taken. My academic achievements and roles as a mentor to students are what have really defined me here at UM-Dearborn. So, though I cannot mention one particular moment that really defines me, I can highlight the successes and experiences that I have had throughout the time I have been at UM-Dearborn that I believe to define who I am, which is someone who loves to learn and help others.