Dana Bohan ’17 came to Simpson College from Grimes as a clean slate, entirely uncertain what he would study. All he knew was that he loved campus and it was just far enough from home to be independent of his parents.
“Truthfully, I am not certain why Simpson drew me, beyond the lovely trees during my fall visit, but I am thankful I enrolled,” he said.
Dana has plenty to thank Simpson for from his academics to his marriage. It didn’t take long for him to find his place on campus. With a knack for biology and chemistry in high school, Dana started with the introductory courses for each department.
“From that point, my passion for the biochemical sciences blossomed, and I have yet to lose the thrill of learning everything I can in these fields,” he said.
Part of that is thanks to Dana’s professors offering guidance and opportunities along his four years at Simpson. Drs. Clint Meyer and Ryan Rehmeier helped him get started in biological research and provided him with the experience and tools necessary to receive in the future.
“Dr. Derek Lyons has been endlessly helpful in my independent research, and is consistently full of excellent advice for the future. I am very fortunate to have worked with him over the last few years,” Dana added.
Not only did his professors realize his potential, but the staff noticed Dana’s leadership as well. As a result, Dana served on the Student Conduct Board and on the Residence Life staff as a housing assistant in his fraternity.
His involvement didn’t end there. Dana was an active member of the Religious Life Community, finding his time spent in service with the group to be invaluable. During spring break 2017, in fact, he participated in one of RLC’s alternative spring break trips led by Dr. Rehmeier to do ecological restoration work.
After a long work day, the group went to the beach to relax. Dana fondly recalls Dr. Rehmeier teaching him how to bodysurf the 10-foot waves that day.
“I spent hours bodyboarding until a huge swell snapped my board,” he said. “It was absolutely awesome and was the highlight of the trip, even though I had a sunburn to put all others to shame.”
That may have been the highlight of the trip, but the highlight of Dana’s time at Simpson makes it pale in comparison.
“My most important memories at Simpson are the story of how I met my fiancée in one of the sorority houses on campus, how we dated for two years, and how I asked her to be my wife, just days before we both began classes this last fall,” Dana said.
After graduating this year with degrees in biology and chemistry, and getting married in June, Dana plans to start the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Immunology at the University of Iowa in August.
As he moves onto bigger things, Dana won’t forget the people and the place that helped him get there.
“Simpson was the starting point that gave me the skills I needed to make the PhD program cut, and I could not be more excited,” he said. “Each professor I have encountered has left me with the distinct feeling that they genuinely care for my success, and it is that friendliness and accessibility that led me to thrive here.”