John B. George Award: Connor McCormick

Swiftwater rescue training, Potlatch Creek.

Chosen from the Dean’s Award nominees and presented to the outstanding graduating senior in the college based on academic achievement and service to the university community.

Paddling the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

My name is Connor McCormick.
I am from East Glacier, MT.

Why did you choose UI?
I was able to receive a high-quality undergraduate education without any student debt. Also, Moscow is a good distance from home: 400 miles isn't an obscene distance for the odd trip back to Montana, but it's far enough my parents couldn't visit me every weekend.

Running "Bonecrusher" with the family, Flathead River.


MMBB 488 Genetic Engineering with Allan Caplan.

Jon Anderson. I took jazz piano lessons from him for four years. He improved my playing dramatically and is an all-around great guy.

The REC 221 Mountaineering field trip. It wasn't strictly a lab, but it was training in the hands-on skills. It's hard to beat three spring days playing in the Wallowas.

Research Project?
The Effect of Δ686-704 in Hsp90 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in Jill Johnson's lab. This was my first exposure to actual laboratory research. The project was interesting and it forced me to learn quickly (generally by screwing up).

Moscow Fire Department intramural roller hockey team.

Study Time

Study early or procrastinate?
Procrastinate. Absolutely. As I write, I'm putting off studying for the MCAT.

Go-to Snack?
Chocolate-covered gummy bears or chips and salsa.

Mountaineering field trip, Wallowa Mountains.

Campus Life

What UI memory makes you laugh the most?
Some of the late nights at the fire station with Crew Charlie.

Dorm or Greek?
I lived in Wallace freshman year.

Intermural Sports or Student Clubs?
Played intramurals. Worked for club sports.

Fall 2010 Moscow Resident Firefighter rookie class.

What's Next?

What are your plans for after graduation?
I'm returning to East Glacier, Montana, to continue to work for Glacier County EMS and Blackfeet Tribal EMS while I apply to medical school. I was just offered an alternate contract for a seasonal position in Antarctica beginning in October and I have my fingers crossed it pans out.

What should incoming first-year students know?
Everyone is insecure. Everyone is awkward. Everyone gets a little homesick. Freshman year is a weird time for everybody. Find something you enjoy and get after it. It's a good way to meet cool, like-minded people. Also, get out of town for the weekend occasionally.

What advice do you have for other students in your major?
Remember the basics. When professors tell you, "You'll need to know this for other classes," they're generally right. Be nice to your TA's. Don't be a turd, they're students as well. Try to make their job a little easier. Also, take some outside classes.