Ag Journeys

“I like my program because it focuses on humans.”

Marissa Moran

Hometown: Tunkhannock, PA

Major: Immunology and Infectious Disease

Good at: Getting involved, being a Penn State football fan, volunteering, reading, helping out in the family Agway store, wearing fake glasses

“I like my program because it focuses on humans.”

There’s more than one way to get from point A to point B.

“When I started at Penn State, I was in Eberly College of Science. I assumed since I’m interested in science this would get me from point A to point B. But something didn’t feel right.”

Marissa talked with her sister, Megan, a recent grad in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.

“She told me about the IID major, I saw the requirements for the degree, what you can do with it, and I thought, this fits with the things I love just perfectly.”

“It’s so much more.”

"My dad graduated from the college, and his career was animal focused. And my experience with agriculture has been through my dad’s Agway store, helping customers who have livestock and animals. That’s what I thought agriculture was about—but it’s so much more."

“My professor goes beyond ‘this is the science.’”

“I took a class this past spring that focused on the human immune system. My professor, Robert Paulson, was amazing. Instead of just saying, these are the pathways that viruses take in your body, he explains the reasoning behind it, and he ties real-life examples into the class.”

At Penn State, Marissa can see her path—with or without glasses.

There’s just something about the eyes.

“I love eyes, and I’ve always wanted to be an eye doctor. Also, I just love glasses, even though I don’t need them. My friend just bought me a pair of glasses with plain lenses—they’re great.”

“This summer I’ll be shadowing an eye doctor. Even though my major isn’t related directly to the eyes, it will help me prepare for any graduate schools I apply to—med school, optometry school, whatever.”

“I like showing prospective students that the college is so much more than animals.”

“THON shows that even though Penn State is so big, we can all come together for a common goal.”

Whether it’s volunteering on the rules and regulations committee for THON or being active in clubs like the Student National Medical Association and the Preoptometry Society, Marissa likes to see the big picture.

“I’m also a member of the One Health Club. One Health is the idea that everyone affects everything—what happens to humans affects animals, and we need to learn from each other and tie it all together.”