One Marshall student saw the switch to online only classes not as a chance to study from home, but a chance to jump right into what she’s been training for.

Tatiana Schrader, a Yeager Scholar from Huntington, West Virginia, is in her first week on the job as a medical technologist at the Washington, D.C., Department of Forensic Science, helping to find solutions to the coronavirus.

Schrader will graduate this spring with majors in environmental sciences and health sciences and a public health minor.

“This entire experience still feels very surreal to me,” Schrader said. “Two weeks ago, I was just studying in my dorm and fast forward to (Sunday) when I packed it all up and moved my entire life to D.C. to help investigate the chaos we’re living in right now.”

So far this week, she is getting acquainted with her office and official duties. She’s been sitting in on meetings with senior officials, on calls with D.C. health and public health labs, and writing reports to help the staff stay up to date.

Schrader said she empathizes with those affected by the chaos and the change coronavirus has created in the world, but, as a student of public health, she’s excited to learn more.

“It feels like a historic moment in my life,” Schrader said. ” I’ll always look back on this as the time my college career was seemingly cut short, but I also got this amazing experience to put what I’ve learned these four years into practice in a way that will hopefully allow me to help the people who need it most right now.”

She experienced a variety of research and opportunities during her undergraduate years at Marshall. She worked at orphanages and HIV/AIDS clinics in Tanzania in 2019, and studied at Exeter College at the University of Oxford in 2018. In Huntington, Schrader was employed in the safe needle exchange program at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department.

Grad school is still on the table for Schrader, who has been accepted to Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, George Washington University, UNC – Chapel Hill and the Ohio State University.

“I still haven’t decided if I’m going to forego grad school,” Schrader said. “Since it’s just a temporary contracting position during the pandemic, the timeline might still work out. Current life plans are still a little up in the air.”

Originally from Clark Davis for Marshall University Communications