Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good

  • Jennifer Grugan posing in a doorway

Jennifer Grugan

Alumni Fellow

My passion is to become a pediatric physician assistant. I have always wanted to work with children, and being a Fellow has provided me with the leadership and communication skills necessary to excel in the medical field. In my Parlee Center courses, I have been constantly challenged to defend and elaborate on my previously held beliefs about scientific issues.

Major/Minor/Campus Organizations

Major in Biology / Minor in Dance / Secretary of Sigma Sigma Sigma National Sorority, Secretary of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society and Big Brothers Big Sisters

My Research

I work in Dr. Rebecca Robert’s lab where I am investigating the effects of lipopolysaccharide on cell populations and levels of MHC-II and B220 on splenic B lymphocytes in control and lupus-prone mice. In our lab, we are able to use Fluorescence Activated Cell Scanning (FACS) to measure MHC-II and the B-lymphocyte identifier, B220. The use of FACS allows us to generate forward scatter (FSC) and side scatter (SSC) plots, which are used to identify lymphocyte populations and show the size and granularity of the cells. The information collected in our lab may potentially be helpful in building our understanding of what influences the human disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

My Parlee Center Courses

IDS-110 (Global Health); POL-399 (Science and the Common Good); PSYCH-345 (Child Development); BIO-350 (Pandemics and Preparedness); MCS-256 (Decoding Science)


My Civic Internship

I spent 4 weeks in Segovia, Spain volunteering at Cruz Blanca, which is a home for those who suffer from mental and physical disabilities. After my classes each day, I went to Cruz Blanca and helped to feed some of the residents their afternoon snack and then spent the rest of the time interacting with them and playing games. My time in Spain taught me a lot about the history, culture, and health care system of this country, and also gave me the opportunity to form meaningful connections with the people I communicated with on a daily basis.

Life After Ursinus

My passion is to become a pediatric physician. Being a Fellow has sparked my interest in exploring and debating the ethical issues within the medical field.