Alex Quackenbush Bartlett ’15 | University of Portland

Alex Quackenbush Bartlett ’15

Alex Quackenbush BartlettPh.D. candidate, Oregon Health & Science University, Cancer Biology Graduate Program

Majors: Mathematics and Biology

“Because UP is a smaller school, I had access to opportunities that wouldn’t have been available to me at bigger institutions. I was a tutor, a laboratory teaching assistant, and performed research—all experiences that directly impacted my educational trajectory.

Academically, biology captured my interest and curiosity. The coursework left me wanting to know more, and it is this quest for knowledge that led me to pursue a career in research. But I cannot overstate the value of studying math. It gave me life-long skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and thinking abstractly and creatively about a problem.

If you are interested in learning and growing, the UP faculty are here to support you. My mentors in science and math taught me how to use the scientific method, how to communicate findings, and how to work within a team environment. I received an incredible foundation, which has helped me fit into my lab team at OHSU and has been instrumental in my success.

As a student, I recommend that you say ‘yes’ to opportunities. Find what actually interests you rather than constraining yourself to what you think you should be doing. And take advantage of those office hours to visit with professors! 

Thinking back to my time at UP, I remember the friends I made, including my now-husband, but just as prominent are memories of times spent inside the classroom and with professors. I feel very lucky to have learned from great educators and hope to pay it forward in the future.”

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