Natalya Ortolano

Major: Biological Sciences (Microbiology)

Class: Junior

Hometown: Mandeville, LA

Activities and Honors: University Scholar, President of Women in Science and Engineering, Member of American Chemical Society, Member of Tri Beta Biological Honors Society, Alumni of Lambda Sigma

About me: I am an Honors College Ambassador because I wholeheartedly believe in all that the Honors College stands for.  Choosing to attend the Southern Miss Honors college was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  They have given me the opportunity to go to a large university while still maintaining the advantages that come with attending a smaller university.  I have developed close relationships with many of my professors, participated in research opportunities early in my undergraduate career, and become close with many other Honors college students with the same passion for learning that I have.  This is what makes the Honors College experience so unique.  It is the idea that you can go to a school with 16,000 undergraduates, but the staff of the honors college know exactly who you are and feel personally invested in seeing you succeed.  My favorite part about the Honors College is that they make me feel like an individual at a large university rather than just a number.

After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school to pursue a Ph. D in either Cell Biology or Pathology.  I am also considering earning an M.D. in addition to my Ph. D in an M.D./ Ph. D program.  I hope to one day participate in some form of Biomedical research.  My dream job has always been to work at either the CDC or USAMRID dealing with some of the deadliest diseases known to man such as Ebola and smallpox.