Caylin Crawford of Saint Paul has been selected a spring semester Outstanding Student at Metropolitan State University.
Crawford graduates with a bachelor’s degree in biology and is chosen as the President’s Outstanding Student award recipient for the university’s College of Sciences. She is one of 1,079 students graduating in the spring semester. Metropolitan State’s 104th commencement exercises take place April 27, 2019, at the Minneapolis Convention Center to confer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
“I was concerned about quality of the science education at Metropolitan State, both the breadth of the instruction and the support offered for students. I was also concerned that an institution like Metropolitan State might not be open to suggestions or criticism regarding improving their students' experiences. My first class with Dr. Mark Asplen removed my concerns about the expertise and ability of the science faculty,” Crawford explained when asked about her fears. “What was most validating for me was when I was asked for input about decisions being made that would affect not only myself and my peers, but also future students. This demonstrated the dedication of the administration and faculty’s desire to improve students' experiences both in and outside of classroom.”
At Metropolitan State, Crawford was encouraged by her professors to become more involved on campus and in the community. She eventually became president of the university STEM Club, and with the support of Dr. Kate Ries, an active member in The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) with the Northstar Stem Alliance. She volunteered for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, raised and trained service dogs, led children’s school programs at Tamarack Nature Center in White Bear Township, and taught children about chemistry at American Chemical Society.
Dr. Kate Ries, assistant professor of chemistry, says “(Crawford) is the most giving person I have seen with her time and is passionate about helping those in need. Caylin is also a gifted networker and group leader, always willing to make introductions and provide connections between individuals and groups while emphasizing the specific strengths that each member brings to the table. She is a well-rounded student who is always willing to lend a helping hand.”
Although Crawford’s lab assistant position is ending for Metropolitan State’s Natural Sciences department, she has plans for after graduation, including continuing to operate her own dog-sitting and boarding business, independent carpentry contracting, and packing and shipping position for a local advertising company. She spends her summers with her dog, Molli, camping at state forests in Minnesota and Wisconsin, gardening, and working on projects for friends and neighbors.
Crawford has plans to return to school in the next four years to pursue her PhD in science education.
Metropolitan State University, a member of Minnesota State, is the Twin Cities’ public, urban, comprehensive state university providing lifelong learning and competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels.