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A Journey of Small Steps


Alumna, Employee, Grad Student- Michele Holcombe's journey has allowed her to embody all of these roles.

After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, she was hired as a full time lab Instructional Assistant and has now moved up to be an Associate Instructional Specialist in the College of Science. In this role, she gets to design coursework, teach undergraduate students in the lab, and maintain the labs under her care.

The transition from student to employee was an interesting one according to Holcombe. “I was the youngest hire in the department and it took a while to move from the reverence that most students have for their professors, to being able to see them as human and getting to know them on a personal level. But now I feel confident expressing my opinions and thoughts and they respect me in return.”

Holcombe’s next step is working toward her Master’s degree in Biology Education as she continues in her current role. Her long-term goal is to become a full Lab Coordinator at Purdue.

Growing up with a father who is an alum and an engineering professor on the Purdue side of Indiana University South Bend, Holcombe already had a sweet spot for the university. As a musician, she thought about joining Purdue Bands but decided against it due to her academic work load. However, she still enjoys playing piano, clarinet, and bass drum when her schedule allows.

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