Jackie Shelton joined Dr. Desaulniers’ laboratory in January of 2023 as a Research Technician. She was born and raised in Madison, Indiana. Jackie spent 8 years in the U.S. Air Force, which is how she found herself in Nebraska. After separating from the military, she obtained her B.S. in Biology from Bellevue University in 2018. It was during her senior thesis work on Toxoplasma gondii that she discovered her profound interest in scientific research and working in the laboratory. After graduating, Jackie spent several years accumulating knowledge and experience in the veterinary field before working in industry research as a bioanalytical analyst. In her position, Jackie hopes to further her knowledge and technique at the benchtop while helping to grow and advance the Desaulniers Lab. In her personal life, Jackie recently started playing the piano for the first time, enjoys drawing, spending time with her family, and fostering kittens with local feline rescues. In the future, she plans to continue her education in graduate school with the ultimate goal of leading her own research laboratory one day.
Steven Faltas spent the majority of his early childhood in Clear Lake, Iowa. Some of his favorite things to do in his early years were to participate in youth sports and spend time with friends. He moved to Elkhorn, Nebraska after his freshman year of high school, and graduated from Elkhorn High School in May 2021. Steven developed an interest in biology and health sciences through high school sciences courses such as AP Biology and Anatomy and Physiology, which is why he chose to pursue a Biology degree on the pre-med track. When it came time to choose a place to go to college, UNL seemed like the right fit for him because it was close to home, and he would get to experience college life while continuing to be a motivated student in the classroom and through involvement. Steven began working with Dr. Desaulniers in the Fall 2021 semester, and he is excited to continue research through his undergraduate career!
My name is Carlene Nguyen and I was born in Lincoln, NE. I'm also the oldest child in my family and am a first-generation student. In my free time, my hobbies consist of listening to music and trying out new foods. I chose to attend the University of Nebraska in Lincoln because I'm already familiar with the campus and I wanted to continue my education near my family. My favorite subject has always been science so I took AP Biology and AP Chemistry at North Star high school as a senior. However, I chose to major in Biological Sciences/Biology while being on the pre-med track because I've also always enjoyed learning about the complexities of the human body and helping others. I even took a Medical Terminology course in the past and had the opportunity to tour hospitals as well as health careers which furthered my interest in the medical field. I'm currently in the FYRE (First Year Research Experience) program under Dr. Desaulniers because I want to develop skills that can only be obtained outside of the classroom. Through working in an actual lab, I am able to get more hands-on experience which I can apply in the future.
Maddie Wegner is currently a Junior at UNL double majoring in Veterinary Science and Animal Science on the Pre-Vet track. She is a member of the Honors Program and works as an Honors Peer Mentor and a Veterinary Assistant at a local clinic. She is from Kearney, NE, and grew up with a younger brother and two bulldogs. Ever since she was younger, she knew she wanted to work with animals and become a Veterinarian one day. She’s never pictured herself doing anything else, and each year closer to vet school she becomes more and more excited for her future career. She chose to come to UNL to stay close to home, and also because she loved the veterinary and animal science programs at UNL. Her passion for helping animals has strengthened even more during her last two years here at UNL, and she is planning on applying to vet schools in the fall of 2023. She has become more interested in swine after a few courses that she has taken here, and also wanted to gain research experience at UNL. She spent time during the Summer of 2022 in Dr. Desaulniers’ research lab, and greatly enjoyed her experience. She is very excited to continue to work with Dr. Desaulniers during the remainder of her undergraduate career!