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Daisy ProkschMath, science appeal to outstanding student

For as long as she can remember, Daisy Proksch has had an affinity for math.

But when she started taking classes at Rogue Community College, she discovered she also liked science. Since then, Proksch has pursued her science studies so well that she was named 2014 recipient of Rogue Community College’s Outstanding Science Student Award.

Proksch, 19, changed her major several times before realizing she didn’t have to choose between the two. In biochemistry, she discovered an inclusive field.

“Biochemistry incorporates both math and science, so when I do decide on the future, I’ll have a good background,” said Proksch, who is eying a medical career. Homeschooled, Proksch prepped for the GED® test at RCC’s Redwood Campus and passed the exams at 16 in 2012. RCC Basic Skills instructors helped Proksch polish her writing skills, but she felt prepared for college math classes.

“Math just makes sense, Proksch said. “You work out a solution, and the answer is right or wrong. Science makes me more aware of what’s going on around me. I love them both.”

Proksch has been accepted at American University in Washington, D.C.

“They do some really cool scientific research,” she said. “I like the idea of going into medical research, but I also like interacting with people. I’d like to spend half my day with patients and half in the lab finding solutions.”

While attending RCC, Proksch earned a 3.97 GPA and received RCC Foundation and TRiO scholarships.

“It’s definitely very nice to be recognized and know someone believed in me.”

Proksch also speaks highly of RCC instructors Jim Van Brunt and Charlotte Hutt. Van Brunt, who is Science Department chair, is “really good at getting us engaged and developing a firm understanding of the subject if we’re going into the field or for future studies,” Proksch said. Hutt, who teaches math, convinced Proksch to consider math as a career rather than just a stepping stone.

“She helped me believe in myself, and that I was good at math, and to look at colleges out of the state. She’s been very supportive of helping me go where I want to go,” Proksch explained.

Working as a TRiO tutor in science and math “helps me further my understanding of the subjects. I have to think about math from different perspective so I can help others.” She also works at the Grants Pass YMCA’s rock climbing wall and kids’ birthday parties.

“I’ve liked RCC. I just spend so many hours a week here that this is my second home,” Proksch said. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of people here, and I’m going to miss it.”

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