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Mady Sereia Telford

Bachelor of Science, Microbiology


Briefly tell us about yourself (e.g. hometown, family, hobbies, favorite BYU courses, intended profession)

I'm from St. George, Utah. I love to be outside hiking, playing sports, camping, and finding random fun things to do. I also play the cello, love to read, and enjoy playing Guitar Hero. My favorite MMBIO courses were Infection & Immunity (Poole), Virology (Berges), and Immunology (Hope). I am going to be pursuing a PhD at the University of Texas at Austin in Microbiology. In the future, I hope to do infectious disease research on emerging viruses and maybe one day become a professor!

Who were your greatest supporters while earning this degree?

My greatest supporters were definitely my parents who always had faith in me and helped me to believe that I could do anything I dreamed. My friends and siblings provided encouragement and distraction when necessary. Lastly, the faculty with whom I had the privilege of working not only believed in me and my dreams, but wrote letters of recommendation and provided mentoring so that I could become the scientist I am today.

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen at BYU?

BYU is an amazing place to learn. There is not any other place in the world where you will be privileged to work with such amazing scientists who also believe in God. If you will get to know the faculty members, they can become role models to you not only in academia and science, but also in faith. The faculty members I developed relationships with helped me to see that the pursuit of knowledge is a Christ-like attribute. They taught me that God loves when we ask questions, and that the point of science is to learn how God created this world. As you learn all of the amazing things you will at BYU, remember that all truth comes from Christ. Allow each new thing you learn make your relationship with Christ and Heavenly Father better and more intimate. It is a blessing to gain your foundational scientific knowledge at an institution that values eternal truths, whether they are revealed through revelation or scientific discovery.

How has your experience at BYU prepared you for the rest of your life?

Living the BYU experience has prepared me to love and seek learning throughout my life. It has taught me that truth can be found in many places, but it should always lead me back to Christ. It has taught me that hard work is rewarding and that my brain is powerful and that I can do more than I know. It has taught me to be kind and forgiving to myself and others. It has taught me how to develop relationships with people who are different than I am. That fun is necessary and that in order to be happy, I need balance in my life.