Early Research Experience at LCCC Puts Rozmarynowycz on path to Ph.D. in Biology

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Mark Rozmarynowycz wasn’t sure where his interest in science would lead him when he enrolled in courses at Lorain County Community College in 2003. It wasn’t long until research projects in his first science courses at LCCC opened his eyes to the possibilities of a career in biology.

Rozmarynowycz will soon earn a Ph.D. in biology from Bowling Green State University.

“Getting research experience so early in my education made a huge impact,” Rozmarynowycz said. “I was able to see right from the beginning what a future in research would be like.”

Since those initial LCCC courses, he has conducted research projects in several locations across the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Russia. Last year, Rozmarynowycz and his colleagues drilled through three feet of ice on Lake Onega, one of the European Great Lakes, to collect water samples to analyze. The purpose of the trip was to see if the winter organisms in the Russian lake were similar to those found in Lake Erie ice. He conducted the same research in Lake Winnipeg, Manatoba, as well, where the ice was over seven feet thick.

“My research has taken me to some interesting places that I wouldn’t have expected. I never know where it will take me next,” he said.

Rozmarynowycz earned an associate of science degree in 2005 and continued on to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bowling Green State University through LCCC’s University Partnership in 2007.

“The best thing about attending LCCC and the UP was that it was a lot cheaper than if I had gone elsewhere for my degrees. I was able to get the same great education at a fraction of the cost,” Rozmarynowycz said. By completing his bachelor’s degree through the UP, he saved nearly $50,000, compared to cost of attending BGSU.

After he earned a bachelor’s degree, Rozmarynowycz began work at BGSU on his master’s degree in biology, where he researched cyanobacterial bioreporters. He earned a master’s degree in 2009 and immediately began the intensive work toward a doctorate degree, also at BGSU.

During his time at LCCC and the UP, Rozmarynowycz was a student worker in the Engineering and Information Technologies division and also was an assistant in the LCCC Fab Lab, where he helped students and community members turn their ideas into three-dimensional objects.

Rozmarynowycz still keeps close ties with his alma mater, LCCC. He was recently a guest in Dr. Kathy Durham’s biology class, where he demonstrated how to extract DNA from Lake Erie microorganisms.

“It’s been a pleasure to see Mark grow as a scientist,” Durham said. “He has become a respected and impressive scientist and it’s wonderful to be able to now work alongside him.”

After he earns his Ph.D., Rozmarynowycz hopes to work in bioinformatics, a field that combines biology and computer science.

“I feel like I have a lot of possibilities ahead of me and that’s due to the great start I got at LCCC and the University Partnership.”

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