UVU Student Spotlight: Mindy Cook

UVU Student Spotlight: Mindy Cook

 Why did you choose to attend UVU and study forensic science?

I chose UVU because it was close to my family and friends. I also love the community and location. 

My end goal is medical school. Forensic science gave me a great foundation in chemistry and science. In addition, when I was growing up my father was a detective and I always enjoyed hearing about the different cases he was involved in. I was intrigued by the idea of doing something that combined science and criminal justice.


What do you want to do for a career? And why?

 The ultimate goal for me is to become a physician. I chose to pursue a career in the medical field because I enjoy helping people. When I took anatomy at UVU, I found that I have a passion for human anatomy. The human body is so fascinating, and it amazes me that so many processes are occurring at any given moment.


What is your research focused on and why did you choose that topic?

In the 2018 spring semester, I began a research course under the direction of Dr. Gary Naisbitt. We chose to study noninvasive methods of blood glucose determination and hypothesized that we would be able to predict blood glucose levels using spectroscopy. We chose this topic because it can be applied to the medical field, which I am pursuing, and because this would be a beneficial advancement in science and health.


 mindy cook forensic science utah valley university uvu pre-med medical school



mindy cook forensic science uvu utah valley univeristy

You presented your research at the American Chemical Society Conference. How was that experience?

It was amazing. We got to travel to Orlando, Florida where I had the opportunity to share my research with students and professors from colleges around the United States. I also got the opportunity to learn from these individuals and received great insight on how I can further my research.

How did it feel to be awarded a certificate from the ACS committee?

It feels good to be recognized for the hard work that Dr. Naisbitt and I have put into this research. I felt grateful to have the opportunity to present our research and to receive the certificate from the ACS. It will be a great addition to my medical school application.

You received a SAC Grant to help you attend the conference. How was the process of getting that grant?

 The SAC Grant process requires you to plan your trip in advance. You are required to have an itemized list of the things you will need to attend the event and their corresponding prices. As daunting as that sounds, the process is actually pretty simple and has been laid out clearly for students. There were also many resources available to me if I were to need assistance; whether that came from Dr. Naisbitt, or a different member of the SAC Committee.


How was it preparing for and taking the MCAT?

Preparing for and taking the MCAT has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in my life. I spent countless hours locked in my office studying, and actually found this time to be satisfying because it allowed me to review everything that I have learned during my time at UVU. It showed me the vast amount of knowledge that I gained as a student at this university. Taking the MCAT is both physically and mentally draining, but after I completed the exam, I felt a huge sense of relief and accomplishment. 


Extracurricular Activities:

During her time a UVU, Mindy stayed involved by volunteering and participating in a club. 

mindy cook forensic science uvu utah valley univeristy 

Mindy collected donations for the Center for Women and Children in Crisis as part of a service learning project for her victimology course.

 mindy cook forensic science uvu utah valley univeristy

As a volunteer for Utah Valley Hospital Mindy handed out jump-ropes at a local elementary school to promote healthy living.

Mindy is the president and co-founder of the Association of Future Female Physicians club. She founded the club in 2018. 


mindy cook forensic science utah valley university uvu pre med medical school

Pictured from left to right are: Mindy Cook- club President, Amber Wallace- club member, JJ Bitton- club Vice President of Extracurriculars, Hannah Christensen- club Vice President of Applications, and Remedy Fritsche- club Assistant. 

Right - Mindy and Hannah at the clubs first club rush. 

mindy cook forensic science utah valley university uvu pre med medical school