Interview with John B. Joyce

“Science is the most reliable pathway to truth that we have, and the world seems to be moving away from objective truth and fact. Be champions of science, for a silent voice is a consenting one.” – JBJ

BS in Genetics
Minor in Biotechnology
GPA 4.0
Anticipated Graduation: December, 2020

Hi John, what is your proudest accomplishment as an NC State student?
My proudest moment (so far!) was earning a NCSU OUR Grant for the 2019-2020 school year to work on an independent research project. My project involves directed evolution and genetic engineering to produce E. coli that can utilize PET plastics as their sole carbon source.

What do you love best about your department or major?
Genetics is literally the foundation of life, and there is nothing more exciting to me than learning about and understanding the beautiful complexity and emergent qualities that arise from a relatively simple mixture of A’s, T’s, C’s, and G’s.

What do you plan to do after graduating from NC State?
I would like to stay at NC State and earn my PhD here, but if the opportunities are elsewhere, I plan on earning my PhD in genetics or a related field by any means necessary.

Care to give a shout-out to a faculty or staff member that you’d like to recognize?
I would like to thank Dr. Stefanie Chen for being my mentor. She truly goes above and beyond to answer my questions and help me when I need it. In fact, every person in the Biotechnology department is an exceptional human being and I thank them all for the help they have provided me. I would also like to thank Dr. Betty Gardner for being an excellent and thoughtful advisor. Finally, I want to thank all my teachers at NC State for encouraging me and pushing me to learn more.

What advice would you give to students at the beginning of their degree program?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you have a question, ask it. If you don’t understand something, raise your hand and make them explain it to you until you get it. This is your education, your passion, and your future.

Here are just some of the other things John has accomplished while at NC State and previously:

• Is a first-generation college student
• Transferred to NC State from Wake Technical Community College with an Associates of Science
• Holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ashford University (Iowa)
• Is a U.S. Army veteran with leadership experience and honors
• Previously worked for Duke Energy Water Resources
• Interned with the NC State BIT SURE program, summer 2019
• Presented at the 18th NC State University Annual Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, August 2019