Melanie Upchurch is currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she is pursuing a Masters of Science in Biomedical Visualization. Before her graduate status, she attended Minnesota State University, Mankato and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in drawing with a second concentration in graphic design and an accompanied human biology minor. During her undergraduate career, she was hired to design various Media Relations materials for the MSU Athletic Media Department, and volunteered in the emergency room at Saint Joseph-Immanuel Hospital in Mankato. Her involvement in the athletic department extended beyond the sidelines to intercollegiate softball where she received several academic and athletic awards. In addition, she helped lead MSU to multiple playoff appearances, one of which ended in fifth place at the 2011 NCAA National Championships, and a first NSIC Conference Championship in 2012. Now, Upchurch’s main extracurricular activity consist of keeping up with her menacing miniature pinscher-cross named Norman, and looks to conduct graduate research on an interactive molecular explorer of Collagen Type I and its structural involvement in various heart disease and tumor progression.

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