Saint of SF | Elise O’Hearn

Saint of SF | Elise O’Hearn

Santa Fe College Industrial Biotechnology student Elise O’Hearn photographed for the Saints of Santa Fe College series on Dec. 6, 2022 in Gainesville . (Photo by Matt Stamey/Santa Fe College)

“The teachers at Santa Fe College have made the biggest impact on my life. I have had some great teachers. They have helped teach me in an effective teaching style and I really look forward to visiting with them in the future to share how my life is going and reminisce about classes I’ve completed. I am never afraid to approach my teachers with my struggles or concerns in my classes and I find they are always genuinely caring and continue to help encourage me to pursue my dreams. 

My Anatomy and Physiology 1 teacher, Dr. Caswell, has been a huge support. He helped schedule the introduction with the lab manager at the Perry Center and helped me decide which major I should choose. He really cared about my well-being and made sure that I had my best foot forward, both academically and occupationally. 

When I was young, I grew up on a farm and I was in nature most of my childhood. This environment helped shape my tendencies toward exploration and curiosity. I would constantly ask my mother the “why” questions about everything, and although she sometimes struggled with my questions, she always encouraged my inquisitive nature. 

During this time, my mom was pursuing a Master’s degree in Nursing Education. I enjoyed hearing her share stories and talk about the science behind nursing, but I did not enjoy the blood and broken bones parts of those conversations. As I grew older, I realized my discomfort working in public settings. With this newly realized information about myself, labeling myself as an introvert, I acknowledged working in science without having to work with customers would be a better fit than being at the bedside in nursing. These exposures and experiences helped me understand my potential career interests as well as my disinterests.  

I’ve always had an interest in science. Upon entering high school, I found out that Santa Fe High School, between Alachua and High Springs, FL, was offering a biotechnology class, and that really interested me at the time, but I did not pursue it and instead attended a high school that was a lot closer to my home.  

My dad was and still is an employee of Santa Fe College and has been for around 12 years now. So, when it came time to pick a college to attend, I had no doubt in my mind that I would attend Santa Fe College because it was so close to home in my heart. SF is my first-choice college and I have had many of my seven 7 siblings pass through the grounds of Santa Fe College.  When it came to my turn to be a part of SF, I wanted to make sure I was making the right choice in my career. Joining the Biotech program was 100% the right choice. I look forward every day to returning to the laboratory and continuing working on class experiments.” 

Elise O’Hearn, SF student in Associate of Science in Biotechnology Lab Technology