Alumni Service Award: Susan Lentz
Lake Michigan College alumna Dr. Susan Lentz has brought her experience in gene and cancer research back to the students of LMC, teaching both science and non-science majors how life functions at the cellular level, the mechanisms of communication among cells, and an appreciation for the biological underpinnings of health.
Susan was a non-traditional, first-generation student when she started classes at LMC, and worked in the chemistry department as a lab assistant for Dr. Paul Stright. She says that LMC helped her gain confidence in her academic and leadership skills and made for a smooth transition to Western Michigan University, where she earned her doctorate in biology.
After WMU, Susan was awarded an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. There she studied a transcription factor involved in medulloblastoma, a form of children’s brain cancer. Her publications have included articles on cellular proliferation, neuronal differentiation, and mutation detection.
While in Houston, Susan was thrilled to see the biology instructor position come available at LMC, as she enjoyed teaching as an adjunct at both LMC and at Western. Now, the Coloma resident has taught at LMC for 10 years as an instructor in the biology department. She says of her teaching experience that she most loves to “watch the students get it” as they work with new concepts.
Susan was awarded the Alumni Service Award in 2014.