Biology alums live and work around the world

Gettysburg College prepares students to be leaders and active citizens in their professions, communities, the nation, and the world. Many students get their first significant taste of our increasingly global society while at Gettysburg – through course work with faculty, study abroad opportunities, service projects, and more. For many, that taste is merely the beginning of exciting and productive lives and careers abroad.

Read on to find out what some of our biology majors and minors are doing.

Catherine Girman ’06

Catherine Girman '06Academic focus: Health and exercise science major, biology minor
Location: Townsville, Queensland, Australia
Job: Planning and Educational Officer for Emergency Management at Townsville City Council

Girman studied abroad at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville during her time at Gettysburg. She returned to the area shortly after graduation, first traveling the country and obtaining volunteer research experience, and later earning her Masters of Public Health with a specialization in Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness at JCU. After working in two roles with Queensland Health, she obtained her current job in her specialized field of disaster management, and even recently became an Australian citizen.

“My experience at Gettysburg, and in particular the opportunity to study overseas, left me incredibly well-prepared to face the ‘real world’ after graduation,” said Girman.

Jeff Jones, Jr. ’01

Jeff Jones '01Academic focus: Psychology and biology double major
Location: Sydney, Australia
Job: Associate Director at Nielsen

Following graduation, Jones went to business school in Australia and completed his MBA in Marketing and Finance. After he received his MBA, he focused on obtaining experience across both client-side and agency roles, so he’d have a first hand perspective of both sides of the relationship. He worked for a marketing agency in Brisbane, Australia, and then as a marketing manager for an e-commerce business. Fast forward seven years, and he was headhunted by Nielsen and moved to Sydney.

“Gettysburg College encourages students to take a diverse variety of classes, from chemistry to marketing to philosophy. This approach enables students to become more versatile and adapt to challenges, which may be outside of their comfort zone. It’s not so much the specific content we learn that’s important; but the behavior, disciplines, and versatility that allow us to distill complex ideas into something of commercial value,” Jones said.

Kristen Belmonte Slaoui ’92

Slaoui '92Academic focus: Biology and classical studies majors
Location: London, England
Job: Vice President, Business Development & Licensing at GlaxoSmithKline

After graduation, Belmonte Slaoui spent almost to a year working in a laboratory at the State University of N.Y. at Stony Brook doing research. It was there that she realized that she wanted to get her Ph.D. and lead a team of researchers in her area of choice – as a severe chronic asthmatic, she wanted to work on understanding why people have asthma. She was accepted to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health’s Physiology doctoral program, where there were researchers working with the Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Research Center. After graduation, she accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 2000, she started her job in the Pulmonary Biology department of SmithKline Beecham, which quickly became GlaxoSmithKline, where she has been in several roles ever since.

“Gettysburg was absolutely crucial in creating my current path in life,” Belmonte Slaoui said. “My biology professors – specifically Ralph Sorensen and Kay Etheridge – were instrumental, and supported my asthma-related research interests and helped lead me down the path I am on today.”