“My journey at FSU has been a profoundly rewarding experience, allowing me to uncover my true passions and providing opportunities to pursue them through various avenues.”
- Involvement: Participated in Boy Scouts for 11 years and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout
- Favorite Study Spot: FSU’s ACE Center, because you can draw on the walls
- Outdoor Adventures: Visited five national parks — Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Park
- Musician: Plays the alto, baritone and soprano saxophones
- Best FSU Lookout Spot: The top floor patio of the Student Union at sunset
- Lifelong FSU Connections: Randomly selected freshman roommate became one of closest friends and remains his roommate to this day
Finding a welcoming campus community was a high priority for sophomore Connor Krassel. After touring Florida State University and learning about the campus organizations, Krassel knew it was the right fit for him.
Krassel’s passion for science began as a Boy Scout when he learned about basic first aid training and biology. While at FSU, Krassel has participated in clubs and organizations that allow him to explore his passion, specifically the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and FSU Medical Response Unit (MRU).
Through UROP, Krassel learned about various labs, like the Hickner Laboratory within the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, where he gained experience in researching and collaborating with professionals.
“By collaborating with the post-docs, doctoral candidates and my research mentor, I delved into fascinating topics such as investigating how elevated free radical concentrations affect cardiovascular health, and transformed that fascination into tangible, hands-on experimental setups,” Krassel said.
Through his involvement in MRU, Krassel found a community of like-minded people who support him in his endeavors.
“I found a deeper understanding of what a community truly means,” Krassel said. “It’s not just a place where you find like-minded people; it’s a place where you can grow, learn and pursue your dreams. That is precisely what the MRU has done for me.”
Krassel’s involvement in the university goes beyond organizations. As a study group leader for his General Chemistry II class, he learned the importance of working with peers and gaining new perspectives. This opportunity inspired him to become a leader in his professional career.
“This experience was instrumental in shaping my ongoing journey toward becoming a future physician,” he said. “It exposed me to the diverse and unique roles that leadership plays within the structure of a team, underscoring the importance of effective community-based learning and communication in the academic setting.”
Upon graduation, he plans to attend medical school with aspirations to become a cardiologist.
“My passion for human health and helping others propels me to pursue a career as a cardiologist and instills in me the belief that I can make a substantial and meaningful difference in the lives of everyday people,” he said.
What inspired you to get a degree in biological science?
The inspiration for pursuing a degree in biological science traces its roots back to my early years in the Boy Scouts. One of the merit badges offered was the First Aid merit badge where we learned about various medical interventions such as splinting and wound care as well as a basic understanding of human biology. This initial exposure to biology made me seek other ways to learn about the sciences. When the time came to apply to colleges, I knew that pursuing a biological science degree was the perfect fit for my interests. I realized that within this field, I could explore various facets of science and eventually pinpoint where my true passions lay in this expansive discipline. As I continued my academic journey and gained exposure to career options in the field, I discovered my profound passion for medicine. This revelation marked the beginning of my focused path along the medical education track.
How has UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) helped stimulate and grow your passions in the science field?
Participating in UROP has been one of the most rewarding experiences during my time at FSU. The invaluable guidance I received from my UROP leader during our biweekly class meetings provided me with insights that proved instrumental in gaining practical experience that aligned with my future goals and helped me identify labs that matched my interests. I had the opportunity to apply to several outstanding labs and ultimately secured a position in an exercise physiology lab. That experience empowered me to present on physiological subjects at multiple FSU-based symposiums, including the President’s Undergraduate Research Showcase. My time and exposure in this lab facilitated meaningful connections with faculty and staff on both an academic and personal level. It greatly contributed to my burgeoning interest in the field of clinical research and medicine, solidifying my commitment to this path.
How have you found your community with FSU Medical Response Unit (MRU) and what have you learned through this organization?
The MRU was not initially on my radar. However, after about a month on campus, I could not help but notice students in cargo pants with medical response packs, and I became increasingly curious about how I could become part of this unique organization. Joining the MRU provided me with the opportunity to make friends with whom I would go on to take many classes and form a close-knit group. We could rely on each other for academic support, whether it was studying for difficult classes or venting about the challenges of school.
What did you learn about yourself when you became study group leader for your class and how has this inspired leadership in your everyday life?
I discovered a genuine passion for discussing various topics that were not only relevant to me but also resonated with my peers. Engaging in discussions not only allowed me to see fresh perspectives on the subject matter but also deepened my understanding of the material in ways that studying on my own could not provide. It brought me closer to my fellow students, leading to the development of lifelong friendships. Experiencing leadership, even on a small scale within the study groups, revealed to me the mutually beneficial relationships that a leader can establish with those around them. This experience afforded me a great deal of personal growth and is one of the select few experiences I hold as a great motivational tool for my future pursuits.