Ienlisted into the Navy right out of high school- Naval service was a long standing family tradition. I trained as a Hospital Corpsman and earned EMT and laboratory Technician certifications. My 6 years (4 active and 6 reserve) were spent in a variety of US duty stations. I supported our Marines at Camp Lejeune and served at a Naval Air Station. After an honorable discharge I completed a Bachelors degree in Biology and later earned a thesis Master degree in Interdisciplinary science. My lab discovered some of the first mutations in the Retinoblastoma gene which is a heritable mutation causing eye cancer in young children. If caught early the resulting cancer is treatable but if not leads to eye loss and death. I'm also proud of my work on the Human Genome Project and my contributions to research on Salivary biomakers measurable in children. One of my favorite teaching moments was when I isolated strawberry DNA for a group of high school freshman.