Emily Rasmussen: Concordia Nebraska shooting team alum recently awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Published by Amy Crawford 1 month ago on Wed, Oct 25, 2023 3:44 PM

Emily Paige Rasmussen ’22 chose to attend Concordia Nebraska because of the university’s shotgun shooting team and the team’s former coach, Scott Moniot.  Rasmussen originally signed with the Simpson College shooting team, but quickly changed her plans when Moniot left Simpson to accept a job at Concordia Nebraska in 2018. 

“My favorite thing about my Concordia experience was being an athlete on the shooting team. I got to spend four years doing what I love with good friends and traveling the country, all on scholarship. You can't beat that,” she said.  

Rasmussen earned a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry and a minor in physics from Concordia Nebraska. She originally enrolled as a marketing major, but after a meeting with the campus career center her first semester, they suggested she pivot to science.  

“Mr. Dr. Jurchen took me under his wing as an advisee and guided me towards research and ultimately graduate school,” she explained. “All of the science faculty were instrumental to providing me with experiences that bolstered my resolve to attend graduate school, and they were always ready to share in my grievances and celebrate my successes. I had no idea what a career in science looked like, but my professors spent countless hours sharing their stories, experiences, and passions with me and were unfailingly gracious with their time and support that has led me to where I am today. The science department prepared me excellently for graduate school. From Mr. Dr. Jurchen's journal clubs, Dr. Einsphar's review papers, Dr. Huntington's science ethics class and Dr. Johnson's research class, all the professors and classes had a part in molding me into a researcher.” 

She said her time at Concordia Nebraska also challenged her to learn more about her faith and question why she believes what she believes.  She said Old Testament with Dr. Mark Meehl was one of her favorite classes.  

After graduation, Rasmussen entered a Ph.D. program in biomolecular sciences at the University of Mississippi under the direction of Dr. Thomas Werfel.  

“I was recently awarded the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship, which is funding my studies for the next three years,” she said. 

As a graduate research assistant, she spends most of her time in the lab performing experiments, reading research articles, and writing. She also attends classes and serves as the Graduate Student Council's vice president.  

“Every day is different for me. Some days I'm spending long hours in the lab trying to get experiments to work. Other days are filled with classes, meetings, and study sessions. My favorite days are spent at the coffee shop reading and writing,” she said. “Every day I get to learn something new and have the opportunity to create new knowledge. I've always enjoyed working in the lab, so doing something no one else has done and getting to be the first to figure something out is unmatched.” 

Rasmussen’s parents have been happily married for 29 years and live near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her sister, her sister’s husband, and her nephew (who was born the day before she graduated from Concordia) live near Minneapolis, Minnesota.  

“I visit them often and just recently had everyone down to Mississippi for the Fourth of July,” she said.  “I love to travel and may be a little too willing to hop on a plane or jump in my car to visit friends and family or explore a new place. My free time is spent mostly in the company of friends or with my dog Red (who I adopted from Blue River Animal Rescue). I also love exploring local eats, reading by the pool or walking the trails. And of course I'm still finding the time to go shooting!” 

Are you interested in learning more about Concordia Nebraska shooting sports? Read more here