Claudia Nowicki’s work involves using a laser to build magnetic beads that bind to the body’s RNA, discovering information that could improve our ability to fight disease. Not bad for a Macomb student one year out of high school.
“Honestly, I never thought this could happen at a community college level,” Nowicki said. “I was thrilled and shocked that an opportunity like this could happen to Regular Joe me.”
Nowicki was admitted to the Early College of Macomb, which allowed her to take college classes at Macomb during her last two years at Romeo High School. She connected with one of her Macomb biology professors, Dr. Joseph Michalewicz, who recommended her for an internship at Detroit-based Life Magnetics. The company had recently received $25,000 in start-up funding from the Innovation Fund Macomb Community College, Powered by JPMorgan Chase & Co., which also created an opportunity for a Macomb student to work there.
“I wouldn’t have it without my professor – he was kind enough to think of it,” said Nowicki. “This has hit it right on the dot for me. The medical field has a huge range of different things to choose from. This has helped me narrow down the specifics.”
Nowicki has balanced her internship and schoolwork while also managing a retail store. Part of her solution has been to fit in online classes around the rest of her schedule.
“I really love the online courses that Macomb offers,” she said. “I’ve taken three up to this point and they’ve been great. I always feel like the professors of my online courses seem to be very understanding and helpful despite being virtual.”
Nowicki is making plans to transfer to Wayne State for a pharmacology degree, which should be a little easier thanks to both the work experience and connections she’s made from interning downtown.
“This has been the #1 best thing to prepare me to move on to a university,” she said. “It was definitely a stepping stone for that high-school-to-university transition that I would recommend to anybody.”