Dianna studied Biology and Biochemistry, graduating with a BA from the University of Northern Iowa. She is now currently attending the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a graduate student.

"> Dianna studied Biology and Biochemistry, graduating with a BA from the University of Northern Iowa. She is now currently attending the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a graduate student.

"> Dianna studied Biology and Biochemistry, graduating with a BA from the University of Northern Iowa. She is now currently attending the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a graduate student.

"> Dianna studied Biology and Biochemistry, graduating with a BA from the University of Northern Iowa. She is now currently attending the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a graduate student.

"> Alumni Spotlight: Dianna Huisman | Bright Foundation

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Alumni Spotlight: Dianna Huisman

Dianna Huisman

University of Northern Iowa - Class of 2018


Dian­na stud­ied Biol­o­gy and Bio­chem­istry, grad­u­at­ing with a BA from the Uni­ver­si­ty of North­ern Iowa. She is now cur­rent­ly attend­ing the Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka Med­ical Cen­ter as a grad­u­ate student. 

Full Interview:


How are you shar­ing your time and/​or tal­ents with oth­ers now? How do you hope to do so in the future?

I have had the priv­i­lege of men­tor­ing under­grad­u­ate and high school stu­dents dur­ing my grad­u­ate school expe­ri­ence. Through the Sum­mer Under­grad­u­ate Research Pro­gram (SURP) and the High School Alliance Pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka Med­ical Cen­ter, I have been able to work with stu­dents, giv­ing them lab expe­ri­ence and prepar­ing them for future work in grad­u­ate school. I am excit­ed to con­tin­ue work­ing with stu­dents through these pro­grams, as well as men­tor­ing grad­u­ate stu­dents when I have my own lab in the future.



What was your expe­ri­ence inter­view­ing for your first job? Do you have any tips to share?

As a grad­u­ate stu­dent, I had a unique expe­ri­ence inter­view­ing for my first job after grad­u­a­tion. I was able to inter­view at two grad­u­ate schools, and the process was much dif­fer­ent from inter­view­ing for a tra­di­tion­al job. My expe­ri­ence was that it was equal­ly impor­tant for me to make sure the lab I would work in was a good fit for me and would sup­port my career aspirations. 

One tip I would share is to be as pre­pared to ask ques­tions as you are to answer them. Your poten­tial employ­er will be excit­ed to see you inter­est­ed in under­stand­ing your role, and ask­ing ques­tions shows that you are engaged in the con­ver­sa­tion and ded­i­cat­ed to doing your best at the job.



Where are you now in your career? Where do you see your­self in five years? 10 years?

I am cur­rent­ly a grad­u­ate stu­dent pur­su­ing my PhD in Can­cer Research at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka Med­ical Cen­ter. In the next five years, I hope to grad­u­ate with my PhD and begin work­ing as a post-doc in a well-respect­ed and pro­duc­tive lab­o­ra­to­ry. With­in 10 years, I hope to be run­ning my own research lab­o­ra­to­ry, with a focus on can­cer research.



Who is your biggest inspi­ra­tion and why?

One of my biggest inspi­ra­tions in life is my old­er sis­ter, Aman­da. She was the first in our fam­i­ly to go to col­lege, and she earned her master’s degree at UNI. She has always been a big sup­port­er of me and has set a great exam­ple of work­ing hard and suc­ceed­ing in life.



What is your favorite hobby?

I’m a run­ner! I’ve done sev­er­al 15K and half marathons and one full marathon.

Thanks for get­ting to know our won­der­ful schol­ars! Stayed tuned for more spot­lights to come on our News & Events page, as well as oth­er updates!