Mhalicki Bronson (Class of 2024)

a photo of Mhalicki Bronson

"When you’re figuring out where you want to go, look for the major you want and don't let a different school or program sway your mind. Stick to what you're looking for, even when visiting the campus. That was a big thing for me in choosing Miami."

Why Miami?

"Miami was actually one of the only schools that offered both zoology and running. Miami has a good reputation with both, and I was really happy when I came on my visit. Miami felt more beautiful and well-kept than other universities that I was considering. Having been running since eighth grade and all through high school, the campus definitely had a really good feel to it.

"Every other college I visited told me that biology is the same thing as zoology, but they’re not really the same! As a prospective student I got to meet associate professor Susan Hoffman, who teaches zoology, and I loved talking with her.

"I’m the first person in my family to go to college, so it was kind of a big deal for me to come to Miami. I was happy to choose Miami because they’re so highly recognized in their academics. It was just nice to have Miami on the table, and to actually have the opportunity to come here makes me very proud. "

Best Miami Experiences

Mhalicki Bronson in front of Hahne Hall with friends.

"One of my favorite moments at Miami has to be our track team winning the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Spring of 2021. I ran in the 5K for this meet and came in 8th place. It was amazing to see everyone on such a big team come together and do their part.

"As first-year student athletes, we got to move in to campus early. It was fun because last year, when I was a freshman, none of the dining halls were open, so everyone in our residence hall would get together and make big meals. It was a lot of fun doing that.

"Of course, after Covid-19 hit during the spring of my first year, I had very little classroom experience. I did get to have labs for my chemistry and biology courses, and even though they had to be set up in a strange way, going to lab was still the highlight of most weeks last year. We did some experiments on effects of certain plant hormones on growth as well as some dissections. Now that the campus has opened up more this year, my labs have been going really well and are a lot more interactive than before. "

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to study marine biology. At Miami, I ended up changing my major to Zoology because I thought I could specialize later on. By the end of our senior year at Miami, we can choose more specialized classes like mammalogy, herpetology, or ornithology. I'm hoping to focus on ornithology, the study of birds. I am mostly interested in the research concerning conservation of endangered species.

"Zoology offers a lot of research opportunities as well as writing and data collection -- it’s more than just taking care of animals. I’m excited for my ecology class, where we’re doing our first strictly writing, strictly research-based work. The first project I want to look into might sound weird, but there seems to be an unknown disease going around affecting local songbirds. One of my biology professors, David Russell, suggested that it may be a fungus and environment toxicity problem resulting from the recent cicada brood. However, there is not enough data to support a clear answer yet."

Running as a Form of Meditation

Mhalicki Bronson running in a track event.

"I’ve always been a nature lover. Getting to run the trails was a big reason I came to Miami, and last year my biology lab had us go out and photograph wildlife. It was a lot of fun. Once we saw many geese, just everywhere, to the point where it was kind of like, ‘wow!’ It’s the little things around campus and Miami’s Natural Areas that make this place particularly nice and special.

"Once or twice a week, like on Wednesdays and sometimes weekends, I’ll do a long run by myself. When I run, I don’t listen to any music -- doing so makes the run seem to last longer and you’re already kind of in your head then. You’re focusing on the tempo, and after a while you realize you’re only 20 minutes in! For me, running is a kind of meditation. Our team often goes out on 16-mile runs, and it’s nice to get an hour and a half to just clear your mind and push forward. "

Advice to Students

"When you’re figuring out where you want to go, look for the major you want and don't let a different school or program sway your mind. Stick to what you're looking for, even when visiting the campus. That was a big thing for me in choosing Miami.

"My freshman year here was filled with a lot of broad categories, like microbiology, but now I’m getting to take courses in things like ecology, which is closer to what I want to specialize in. As you go along, it gets more fun and more in depth the longer you stick with it. "

[November 2021]