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Featured Grad: Tyler Cunningham ’20

Featured Grad: Tyler Cunningham ’20

Tyler Cunningham

Hometown: Omaha, NE

Major: Biology


Activities involved in at Doane: Football and Health and Medical Occupations Club (HMOC)


Congrats on graduating, Tyler! What pushed you to graduate in 3.5 years? 

I took a large amount of classes with college credit in high school, so I technically started at Doane as an academic sophomore. However, I wanted to play football all the years I was eligible so I adjusted my classes accordingly. 

What was the final semester like for you, experiencing a mix of in-person and virtual learning during the pandemic? 

It was tough for me especially because I have always been more of a hands on learner. It was also weird because I was only physically around half of the people I was taking a class with at a time (only half of the people were able to sit in class at one time due to COVID restrictions). 

Was there a favorite class and/or professor you had and why? 

I would say my favorite class I took at Doane would be microbiology. I enjoyed this class the most because of how much it was able to connect to issues of human health. I learned just how important human/animal symbiotic relationships are with microbes and how much imbalances in our microbiota can affect health. On top of that I was able to participate in some very interesting class projects in the lab, like when we swabbed random surfaces on campus and then tried to identify the bacteria using a flow chart. As far as a favorite professor I don’t think I could choose one. Each professor I had at Doane was excellent in their own unique way.

You mentioned that you have applied to some medical schools. What field of medicine are you most interested in?

As of right now I don’t know exactly what field of medicine I would say I am most interested in. I can see myself enjoying a wide range of fields in both primary care and surgery. I am hoping to get a better idea of the field I want to go into when I go through rotations in medical school.

After tearing your ACL, MCL, and meniscus in high school, how rewarding was it to be able to play college football?

It was extremely rewarding. I was blessed to be able to put the pads on again in college after missing the entirety of my senior year to that injury. I am glad I was able to conclude my sports career on a much higher note. 

What would your advice be to incoming students in the incoming class of 2021?

I have two pieces of advice for the incoming class of 2021 that helped me. The first is to make sure to use your time wisely and schedule your studying in advance. This is because something always takes longer to do than expected. The second piece of advice is to always schedule time to do something relaxing every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. This will keep you from burning out over the course of the semester.