At 30 years of age, Goffstown native Tim Labonville is back in the classroom following his passion for science, specifically biology. He first found himself in the college setting after graduating from high school, though after two years he decided to serve his country in the United States Marine Corps. He was twice deployed and subsequently retired medically after being injured. Labonville shares his journey below.
I initially came to the University of New Hampshire to study engineering in Durham, which I was forced to withdraw from for concurrent medical conditions stemming from my service. It was hard to leave at that point, but a few too many variables kept me from the time commitment needed as a college student.
I was presented an opportunity to work in finance as a stock broker and, after earning my Series licenses, I stayed in brokerage for two years. Which all lead me to my final decision – I was as healthy as ever to come back to UNH.
I spent time reflecting on my likes and dislikes to figure out my strongest drivers. Biology in the realm of medicine and research was my conclusion. UNH Manchester presented all of the tangibles and intangibles I was looking for in a school. So for the last two years I have put everything I have into this endeavor and have excelled both academically and throughout the community that is UNH Manchester. I can tell you that I made an excellent choice.
I have many reasons for choosing UNH Manchester. When deciding I looked for quality of education, accessibility of professional staff like professors and adjuncts, the facility as state-of-the-art and the demographic being a solid mixture of young students and older, non-traditional students like myself. I will say the location also fit well with my travel commitment.
At UNH Manchester, the professors are clearly experts in their field, but carry no arrogance about their achievements. The feeling of comfort is how I might best describe the student’s point of view here. You are never made to feel inept or self-conscious about a difficultly we all experience at one time or another. Part of the intangibles I spoke of earlier is that nurturing of confidence and constant challenge to better yourself thought academics.
Another strength that UNH Manchester has developed and utilized is an unparalleled tutor support department, our Center for Academic Enrichment. Fairly unique to the University, fellow students are trained in adult learning theory, taking a semester-long course to become peer tutors. Tutoring is free here and encouraged! I personally went through the training and have worked as a Peer Tutor — truly an invaluable part of what makes UNH Manchester stand out.
I have also had the opportunity to participate in research with UNH. I was a member of a team that worked on the Bioinformatics of Microbial Genomics this past summer. The team was published in a science journal. I am looking to continue research work throughout this semester and over the summer as well. Research opportunities are competitive, but more available here than most schools I have experienced.
This college has been built toward developing students for best success. There is a constant tapping of current work fields and technology, along with catering to employability of graduates.
We are a friendly and close school, and, though the student body is growing, most people know you by name and are very engaging. We are set up to develop strong, independent, problem-solving students who can adapt to many roles working both individually and collaboratively.
Written by Timothy Labonville '16, Biological Sciences
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