May 16 2010

I graduated!

I now have a Bachelor of Science with the Honors curriculum in Biology from Purdue University!

Major 1: Genetic Biology
Major 2: Ecology, Evolution, & Environmental Biology
Minor: Psychology
Honors thesis: Inferring mating habits in banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) using DNA extracted from copulatory plugs

Wooooo! A big thank you to my family, friends, and instructors for helping me along the way. I now will sound ten times smarter in any debate because I have some letters after my name ;)

And thankfully our commencement ceremony wasn’t too religious. Purdue has four ceremonies due to the sheer number of students, and mine was the last one. The first three had a Lutheran minister speak, and apparently he enjoyed referencing God a lot and asking people to pray during the “Moment of Reflection.” Our commencement got a Rabbi, who was wonderful – he was funny and completely and utterly secular.

Now, I don’t think a public university should designate a time for religious speakers, as that inherently shows a preference for religion over non-religion. Not to mention, even when they try to be diverse, they never include anything outside of Abrahamic religions – when I went a couple years ago (for the grad of my boyfriend at the time) they still just had a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew, and a Muslim (no, they didn’t walk into a bar). My big beef is that after the “Moment of Reflection,” the choir sings “Amen” over and over again. Um, yeah, that’s not a moment of reflection…

But anyway, it was nice. Afterward there was a little reception for the College of Science, where my parents got to meet some of my professors. I liked this one interaction with my biology professor from Sophomore year:

Prof: I love meeting parents because I get to see Mendelian genetics in action!
Me: *laughs*
Parents: *awkwardly chuckle because they have no idea what that means*

Then later I got to explain that he was nerdily saying that I looked like both of them, hehe.

I guess I’m officially a scientist now, yaaay!

PS: Oh, and I got recognized by random professors and parents I didn’t know because of Boobquake, hahaha.


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  1. 1
    Maximilian Weylandt

    well done jen!!

  2. 2
    Philip Pangrac

    Probably should make jokes on this day, but I can’t resist this:Jennifer McCreight (BS) doesn’t exactly make you sound smarter :pBut seriously, congrats.

  3. 3


  4. 4
    Philip Pangrac

    That should be “shouldn’t make jokes”But it’s too late. I gone and done it and I’d do it again, too. Consarn it.

  5. 5
    Adam G. Van Kirk

    For some reason, I expect to see you go on a fountain run right after this picture. XD

  6. 6
    David's Not Here

    Congrats, beats my Bachelor in Religious Studies all to hell…And my Rabbinic Ordination too…*academia envy*

  7. 7
    Iason Ouabache

    Congrats, Jen! I’m very proud of you.

  8. 8

    *throws biodegradable, carbon-neutral, non-toxic confetti*

  9. 9

    “PS: Oh, and I got recognized by random professors and parents I didn’t know because of Boobquake, hahaha.”oh yes, you’re internet famous now. random strangers will recognize you and feel like they know you ;-)

  10. 10

    Congratulations! One more scientist in the world.Hope you have a good time in the next few years.

  11. 11

    Congratulations. Did you compare the DNA of the offspring to the plugs to see if any of the male kangaroo rats switched tactics and popped in for a quickie prior to another male creating a plug? Just wondering.

  12. 12

    Cool. And now on to the Pacific Northwest…?

  13. 13
    Gordon H. Clark

    Heartiest congratulations! The world always needs another Purdue alum and another scientist!

  14. 14
    James F. McGrath


  15. 15
    Ian Andreas Miller

    Macta virtute esto!Certa bonum certamen!

  16. 16

    I was going to make a similar comment to the prof re: genetics, but in less jargony terms. Congratulations.@Adam: true fountain runs became impossible during 2001 when the giant metal phallus was installed. Or has it since been removed?

  17. 17
    Vincenzo Lisciandrello

    Excellent news! Yay for Jen!

  18. 18

    Congrats on your graduation! (and the fact that a lighting bolt did not strike is sort of like Boobquake — evidence that God may *not* exist (as if anyone God might want to ht with a lightning bolt, it would be a non-believe such as yourself!)On a more serious note, some public universities do NOT require comments from a Abrahamic- based eligion. When I graduated with an English Language arts degree (and journalism minor) from Washington State University in 2005, our spiritual invocation was performed by a Chief of the Yakima Tribe, who had to get permission from tribal elders to perform such a sacred prayer with and for non-triabl members — there is hope!

  19. 19

    Congratulations! I’m a little daunted at the prospect of ONE major, so kudos to you!

  20. 20
    William Brinkman

    One was tough for me. Congratulations!

  21. 21
    Ruby Leigh

    Assuming the people in the photo are your parents, I will go ahead and say that I agree with your professor and additionally your parent’s are very attractive people. Cheers! Best of luck

  22. 22
    Wayne Colvin

    With honors too, Congratulations!

  23. 23
    Gayle Jordan

    Jen McCreight is a liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist COLLEGE GRADUATE trapped in Indiana. Send help.Congrats little sister – can’t wait to read about your graduate school experiences!http://www.epiphanyhealth.wordpress.c... — my blog about the 50 new things I’ma do this year as I turn 50!

  24. 24

    Holy crap, my sincerest congrats! Honours, too! Awesome!!Be prepared for people to stop you on the street from hereon in and say “HEY YOU’RE THAT AWESOME CHICK WITH THAT REALLY COOL BLOG PLZ MARRY ME!”You may want to start hiring bodyguards. :D

  25. 25

    I can certainly see the Mendelian genetics in action in the picture included here. Your height is about the average of your parents’, and so are your facial features.It’s too bad that I can only see one sample in action. If you have more pictures of parents and their offspring, I may be able to validate the theory with a higher degree of confidence.

  26. 26
    Eric Dutton

    Congratulations!I’m impressed by the fact that you managed two majors AND a blog. I had to shut mine down toward the end of my last semester.

  27. 27


  28. 28

    Speaking of Mendelian genetics, it’s kind of funny. You’re right about at the direct midpoint between your parents’ heights.

  29. 29

    I just noticed a post a few lines above me said the same thing. D’oh!

  30. 30


  31. 31
    Sam Barnett-Cormack

    Thankfully (for those that have them), the British version of the abbreviation doesn’t suffer from this problem – BSc. Has a nicer ring to it, to my mind.

  32. 32
    Sam Barnett-Cormack

    Congratulations, and good luck on your postgraduate career

  33. 33
    Bad Wolf


  34. 34

    yay! ^^ hopefully i’ll get myself a graduation! =P

  35. 35

    Congratulations, Jen. I’m not sure if there’s anything else to say here… hopefully the transition to graduate school is seamless.

  36. 36

    extracted from copulatory plugs

    Somehow I’m not the least bit surprised that this was your chosen topic …Doesn’t “Amen” just mean “So mote it be”?Congraaaaaaats!

  37. 37

    Congrats! There’s a happy Jen and some proud parents. That sounds like a pretty cool thesis (so where’s the download link?). Mine was the much lamer “something network something performance improvements something something”.

  38. 38

    Congratulations to you! Use that degree well, and good luck in grad school, or whatever it is you Yanks call getting more more letters around your name. :D

  39. 39

    I told you congrats on facebook, but Congrats here too!

  40. 40

    Awww congratulations!!!!I have a genetics degree also.x

  41. 41

    May the flying spaghetti monster make smooth your path to Seattle with fresh ragout.

  42. 42

    Congratulations – and good luck!

  43. 43

    Congrats! Hope I’ll have those funny little letters too in a few years, although mine would sound like “Dr. rer. nat.” (as it is Germany over here and we love Latin – it sounds so important).As for this year my exams are just beginning…

  44. 44

    Yeah, “Amen” just means “So be it.”

  45. 45

    Congrats! That is a great accomplishment, and we’re proud of you.

  46. 46

    CongRats!Damm i so love puns.

  47. 47
    The Mad Dreamer

    I see Mendelian genetics has certainly made its mark on you. The observations are noted above, so I will not rehash them. Congratulations on your graduation. You will go on to do great things.Still a student here, for another year and a half. Should be fun, though.

  48. 48

    Well done.Like many others, I’m looking forward to watching you make leaps and bounds from there.

  49. 49
    A Student

    So much for women having inferior intelligence. Congratulations!

  50. 50
    Camels With Hammers

    Congratulations, Jen! Great luck in graduate school!

  51. 51
    Ian Andreas Miller

    Ita vero, Lingua Latina mihi placet!

  52. 52

    Well done Jen, Congratulations on your new letters!

  53. 53

    yer mom’s hot

  54. 54

    Congrats, Jen.I have heard the Rabbi give the reflection or whatever in the past, and agree he does a good job.I’ve also been there with christian ministers, and for the most part, the experiences have been ok. There was one who went over the line, but the rest were pretty basic and secular.While I would never attend a Purdue commencement voluntarily, I will say that when I have gone, I tend to enjoy it. I always like how it starts very formal and solemn, and as the time moves on it gets lighter and lighter, and by the end it’s just a very happy celebration.And I could listen to Mike Piggot read the phone book all day (which is basically all he is doing when reading names)

  55. 55

    Congrats Jen!

  56. 56

    Congratulations, Jen. You have already accomplished so much and influenced so many people in a relatively short period of time. I am very impressed.The great thing about education is no one can take it away from you.This old guy in southern Illinois will be following your blog for some time to come and I am definitely looking forward to the next Boobquake!

  57. 57

    Yay, congrats! I think you are officially who I want to be when I grow up, never mind that I got my BSc mumbledy years ago.I’m suddenly grateful for my graduation ceremony (from a small Canadian university)- we had one of the founders of MSF as our speaker followed by a native drumming ceremony.

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