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April 18, 2024

JCCC alum gets students excited about the scientific process

Kaitlyn Sy understands science can be hard. As a tutor in the Academic Resource Center, every day she encourages students to keep trying even when they feel like they’re failing. “Science is all about getting it right the next time,” Kaitlyn says. “Failure is how you progress. Successful people just learn how to fail properly.”

She’s also passionate about science. Kaitlyn graduated from JCCC with an associate degree in liberal arts and general sciences, is working toward a bachelor’s in biotechnology from the University of Kansas, and has been accepted into medical school. But before diving into the rigors of med school, she wants to help JCCC students get passionate about science and get comfortable with the scientific process, which includes making mistakes and learning from them.

Failing forward results in learning

As a science tutor and lab assistant, Kaitlyn challenges students to change their attitudes from “frustration around trying to perfect a scientific technique” to “it didn’t work, but at least I learned something.” She says science is about learning, and learning comes from trying different approaches — some that may work and some that don’t.

Much like how she approaches the scientific process, Kaitlyn “stumbled” onto a great thing at JCCC when her first college choice was sidelined by the pandemic. “Taking a few courses” turned into a commitment. “I got involved on campus, joined the Honors program and even became vice president of JCCC’s Honors Student Association.”

She also was a student representative on the campus Sustainability Committee, helping create written policies, including some passed by the JCCC Board of Trustees. She adds that her experiences during college gave her an opportunity to work with many types of people, different opinions, and lots of ideas.

As Kaitlyn heads toward her future in the scientific world, she encourages students and those thinking about JCCC to leverage the opportunities in front of them. She says, “Faculty and staff are there to help you, there’s scholarships and financial aid available, and you can find plenty of ways to get involved.”

Most of all, Kaitlyn reminds students it’s okay not to get things perfect the first time. “College is about trying new things and learning about yourself,” she adds. “If you never take the chance, you might miss something really cool.”

Passionate about science – or any other topic?

JCCC is the place for you! Small class sizes, low tuition rates, and helpful resources like FREE tutoring and a support team make JCCC a top choice for an exciting future.

Apply today!