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Alumni Spotlight

Raegan Nelson.jpg

Raegan Nelson

I graduated from CC as part of the running start program with two Associate degrees, Associate of Science and Associate in Biology, graduating as that year's Scholar of the Year in 2014. I then attended Central Washington University with a full ride scholarship where I graduated summa cum laude as a president's scholar with my Bachelor of Science degree in cellular and molecular biology and psychology minor. I'm now in the third year of my PhD program in biomedical sciences at the University of South Dakota. I work in an influenza lab studying immunology and microbiology.

Now in the third year of my PhD program, I work in an influenza lab. I recently published my (first) first-author paper titled, Contribution of Host Immune Responses Against Influenza D Virus Infection Toward Secondary Bacterial Infection in a Mouse Model. I continue to pursue my aspirations of becoming an academic professor. In my free time, I serve as secretary for our Biomedical Graduate School Organization, serve on the Health Affairs and Medical Informatics Committee as the student representative for the Biomedical Sciences division, and love volunteering each Wednesday at my local AWANA program.


I also continue to love volunteering to speak to incoming undergraduates and potential graduate students, much like I did while a running start student at CC for prospective high school students. Since being in the midwest, I've met my fiance, a farmer-turned-accountant from Nebraska, and we are getting married in early December. After I graduate, I hope to find an academic position to help encourage and teach minds like CC did for me.

Centralia College allowed me to jump start my college career while still in high school. The wonderful professors there challenged me to be successful and prepared me for the Bachelors degree I obtained in 2017, and for the graduate studies I'm currently in. I can't thank CC enough for the amazing opportunities they provided me.

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