Students who choose to major in more than one discipline typically don’t mix the sciences and the humanities, but combining biology with philosophy made perfect sense to Andrei Rajkovic.
Rajkovic, whose father is an OB/GYN and whose mother is a pediatrician, was naturally attracted to science and research, but he had little exposure to philosophy until he took Professor Elizabeth Schiltz’s first-year seminar, The Meaning of Life. “The class really exposed my inquisitive side,” said Rajkovic, the oldest of three children. “It drove me to explore the intellectual aspects of life more deeply.”
Rajkovic, who grew up in Cleveland, wanted to return to northeast Ohio because he still had friends in the region, and that’s one of the reasons he wound up at Wooster. “I was looking for a small liberal arts college, and Wooster was one of the closest to Cleveland,” he said. “When I started to learn more about the school, especially the Independent Study program (Wooster’s nationally acclaimed undergraduate research program), I really became interested.”
For most students, one I.S. project would be more than enough, but Rajkovic is excited about the prospects of doing two — one in each of his majors. “I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “I think it will help me express who I am and what I want to do with my future.”
That future will likely include a career in medicine or research. “I would like to be a doctor, maybe a surgeon,” said Rajkovic, whose family moved from northeast Ohio to Texas when he was 9 years old. “I’m also interested in research on viral defense mechanisms, either plant systems or humans.”
Rajkovic’s parents have been highly influential in his life. His mother has become a passionate advocate for national healthcare and a leader in the movement for a statewide system in Texas. His father sparked a deep enthusiasm for research while Rajkovic worked in his lab as a teenager. Rajkovic also made several research connections on his own, including a study of cell differentiation for prominent stem cell researcher Thomas Zwaka.
Since arriving at Wooster two years ago, Rajkovic, who spends much of his free time with the Ultimate Frisbee Club, has continued to explore learning opportunities across campus.
“Wooster has provided me with an excellent education as well as amazing teachers and advisors who nurture my goals and aspirations,” he said. “The professors here invest all that they have into the students. At Wooster you come to terms with yourself and begin to understand who you are. The small liberal arts environment here really facilitates that.”
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