St. Bonaventure University

Student Testimonials

What students say about our Biochemistry Program

Claire Schaef, Class of 2022

M.D. Candidate, University of Washington School of Medicine
Ensign, U.S. Health Professions Scholarship Program

Claire Schaef webI originally investigated St. Bonaventure after being recruited for the swim team, choosing to attend this school because of the great educational opportunities in the biochemistry program.

As a student-athlete, I found great support from my professors in navigating challenges related to athletics. The faculty and staff are devoted to their students, and passion is evident in their teachings.

My favorite part of my time at Bonaventure was connecting with each faculty member, certainly something unique to this school. Dr. Zhang is a devoted research mentor and adviser; her guidance has been instrumental. I found these connections to be important as I navigated my medical school applications, with a wealth of knowledge and support found in my past and present professors.

I grew as a student, researcher, medical provider, and person in my time here. I was challenged within the biochemistry program, and am certain that I am well prepared for medical school moving forward. A Bonaventure education is priceless, especially in the field of science.

Anna Hu, Class of 2021

M.D. Candidate, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Member of the ASBMB Honor Society (ΧΩΛ)
Anna HuThe sense of community between students and faculty initially drew me toward joining St. Bonaventure’s biochemistry program. Throughout my undergraduate career, this aspect continually proved to be central to my experience.

The faculty and staff provide a friendly, collaborative, and supportive environment for students. Yet, they set a tone for scientific excellence and professional rigor in their teachings to push each student to be the best they can be, both academically and personally.

Personal connections I made with professors not only allowed me to gain a deeper understanding in the classroom, but also helped me find my path and opened the door for many opportunities in research, internships, and volunteering.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bonaventure and believe that the knowledge and skills I acquired will be invaluable for my future career.


Erin McNell, Class of 2020

Ph.D. Candidate, Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Member of the ASBMB Honor Society (ΧΩΛ)
Erin McNell

I couldn't be happier with my decision to join the biochemistry program at St. Bonaventure. The curriculum is not only designed to teach concepts of biology and chemistry, but also to be able to apply them to real-world challenges.

The faculty encouraged me to perform at my highest ability, and were helpful along the way. Overall, it was the perfect balance of challenge and support.

I am now comfortable in a laboratory setting because the program provided me the opportunity to lead a research project as an undergraduate, which can be rare at other universities. The biochemistry program prepared me for graduate school and my goal of working in a lab afterwards.

Nicholas Jodush, Class of 2020

D.P.T. from Daemen College, Physical Therapist at Elderwood, Hamburg, New York

Nick JodushThe first word that comes to mind when I reflect on my time in the biochemistry program is opportunity. Dr. Zhang does an excellent job creating different opportunities for the students.

These opportunities include chances to work on exciting research projects,  which help students gain an understanding of the scientific method and process, and that cannot be taught in the classroom.

Additionally, the program does an excellent job in preparing students for their futures, regardless of what that may entail. During my time in the biochemistry program, I gained a number of skills that will be critical as I move forward with my professional career. The program challenges you in a number of ways and, in the process, fosters personal growth.

Makenzie Evans and Joshua McGraw, Class of 2019

Makenzie: MBA from SBU, Account Manager at Voltaa Co.

Makenzie Evans and Joshua McGrawThe biochemistry program at St. Bonaventure University was absolutely amazing and I cannot speak highly enough of Dr. Zhang. Through her tireless work and efforts as a professor and mentor I was able to achieve and accomplish my goals. Furthermore, due to the relatively small class sizes it was very easy to get to know my professors one on one and really form a mutually beneficial relationship. This program is specifically unique as there is a required research component, which helped me to learn a great deal more and really get to see how the information learned in lectures comes alive in the real world.

There are so many wonderful opportunities in the biochemistry program at St. Bonaventure going beyond the classroom that immensely enhanced my learning experience!

Joshua: MBA from SBU, Manufacturing Engineer at EZ Concept U.S.A.

Being able to take part in the biochemistry program at St. Bonaventure University has been one of my best decisions when preparing for the future. Finding a program that can offer such a high level of participation within the research lab is rare, especially one with the freedom to investigate one’s own experimental questions.

Having such a close relationship with Dr. Zhang and other professors has allowed for passionate and unprecedented learning that goes beyond the classroom. The skills I’ve received while in the program have and continue to be a solid foundation from which to pursue my professional career.

Jordan Powers, Class of 2018

Ph.D. Candidate, University Program in Genetics & Genomics (UPGG), Duke University
Named 2018 Ideal Bonaventure Man
Jordan Powers

The biochemistry program at St. Bonaventure lets students work directly and intimately with professors in their research. This allows students and professors to develop a close and special relationship that is unique to Saint Bonaventure.

By being able to work closely with Dr. Zhang, I have been able to experience research first hand and realize it is something that piques my interest. In the lab, I can apply the concepts I have learned throughout my schooling in real life applications.

Because of this research opportunity at St. Bonaventure, I have become more interested in pursuing a career in the research field.

Sarah Metcalf, Class of 2016

Ph.D. Candidate, Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences (PPBS), University at Buffalo

Sarah Metcalf As a student in the Biochemistry program at St. Bonaventure I was challenged and guided by great mentors that showed me that my efforts could lead to a rewarding scientific career.

Throughout my undergraduate career the professors continued to amaze me with the workings of biological systems.

This program allowed me to have countless hands on experiences with class labs and research, allowing me to grasp what a graduate and research career will entail. I was able to design some of my own experiments and present my findings at conferences. I was also able to conduct research in labs at other universities.

Zachary Mazanek, Class of 2014

Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, Scientist II, Georgiamune LLC 

Zachary MazanekAt St. Bonaventure University, the diversity of techniques used in the lab as well as research opportunities provided to me over the summer greatly helped me build a resume that got me several offers from top graduate schools.

The experience included training other students and learning advanced scientific techniques as well as opportunities to travel to government institutions and universities (USDA, NIH, University of Maryland) which added to the depth of my experience.

During my time in the lab I also produced data that was later published in the Journal PLOS One.

Rory Jones, Class of 2014

Senior Scientist I, Cambrex

Rory JonesThe biochemistry program at St. Bonaventure is fantastic.

It provided me with the opportunity to participate in scientific research that prepared me for my professional career.

The requirement to enroll in courses that challenged me to critically think as a scientist is an invaluable experience that will stick with me for years to come... let alone the arsenal of understanding and caring professors who pointed me in the right direction!

Kyle Alpha, Class of 2014

M.D./Ph.D. from State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Residence Physician, St. Joseph's Health

Kyle AlphaMy experience in the biochemistry program at St. Bonaventure University helped shape me as a scientist and inspired in me a love for research that has opened countless doors for me.

The one-on-one attention I received from professors helped me learn to design and complete research projects. At the same time, they also afforded me enough independence to allow me to learn to troubleshoot and learn from my mistakes. I was able to build a relationship with faculty members and felt that they truly cared about my success, both in and out of the classroom.

Thanks to the biochemistry program, I was well-prepared for both the medical curriculum and the research requirements in the M.D./Ph.D. program I joined after graduation.

Jennifer Andrews, Class of 2013

M.D., General Surgery Resident, Wake Forest Baptist Health

Jennifer AndrewsI can’t speak highly enough about the experience and teaching I reached at St. Bonaventure University. Being interested in the sciences, majoring in Biochemistry was the best decision I made.

I had excellent opportunities to research in two different areas, which helped me explore whatever I was interested in. I even had the opportunity to publish as a first author during my four years.

As for the professors, I can’t imagine a better learning environment. They encouraged me to follow my passions and push me to achieve excellence, in the lab and classroom. As a Division I athlete, they also worked with me despite my busy schedule, and their doors were always open. The small class sizes allowed for individual teaching and I found that upon entering medical school I was extremely well prepared compared to many of my peers. Overall, the teaching I received was second to none, as was the education.

My time at St. Bonaventure was the perfect transition to medical school, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the experiences I had there!

Nathan Gear, Class of 2013

Pharm.D., Pharmacist at Wegmans in Corning, New York

Nathan GearI transferred to St. Bonaventure after attending another university for two years. I immediately felt at home.

The professors I had at St. Bonaventure were among the best professors that I have ever had. The program also provided me a solid foundation in both the biology and chemistry disciplines.

I believe this was vital to my success in pharmacy school. The knowledge I gained from the biochemistry program allowed me to make a seamless transition into pharmacy school.