Since last summer, Pessman’s research has been underway in the new animal research laboratory at the Dr. Myron Wentz Science Center. Crickets are hatched in large incubators and then Pessman places them into a glass structure with features she devised to test their aggression.
“I’ve used window wire, a hot glue gun and old Tupperware pieces,” she said. “I didn’t realize that scientific research involved arts and crafts!”
Pursuing a biology major and advanced degree in the field represent an extreme change of plans for Pessman. She came to North Central College from Fulton, Ill., intending to major in actuarial science. While the mathematics fit her talents, the idea of office work did not. “I’ve lived on a farm all my life and I missed my animals terribly,” she said. “When I took an aptitude test during First-Year Experience (FYE), the results showed I belonged outside with animals.”