North Central College - Naperville, IL

Biology major wraps up stellar academic, athletic career at North Central

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Alex Knobloch of East Moline made the most of his experience at North Central College, excelling in both academics and athletics.

Among other honors, the Alleman High School graduate and son of Craig and Barb Knobloch was named the College’s 2010 Outstanding Major in Biology and the 2010 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Man of the Year, an award that recognizes the conference’s top male student-athlete.

Knobloch is attending the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, where he’s pursuing a medical degree through the Air Force. He ultimately hopes to become a doctor and practice family medicine as a primary care physician.

At North Central, Knobloch participated in the Summer Research Program, which offers biology students the opportunity to conduct field study at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium or in local forest preserves, among other locations. He presented his findings at the College’s 2010 Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research about his research synthesizing a salamander's DNA and isolating a novel protein with the goal of identifying an amino acid sequence.

“My experience conducting research at North Central was fantastic,” he says. “It provided me the opportunity to gain an appreciation for the research process as a whole that will last the rest of my life. Working even more closely with faculty in their roles as research advisors and becoming a part of and contributing to a science department culture that is really flourishing were two aspects of the experience for which I am grateful.”

In addition to graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average, Knobloch was a member of the travel squad as an alternate for North Central’s 2009 national championship-winning cross country team. He was a conference champion in the distance medley relay at the 2010 CCIW Indoor Track & Field Championships.

He received a North Central College Presidential Scholarship, was a CCIW Academic All-Conference member in each of his four seasons and earned North Central’s Scholar-Athlete Award each of his four years for having the highest grade point average among all athletes in his respective class. He earned membership to the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society (Gamma Nu Chapter) and the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society (Illinois Mu Chapter).

Knobloch also earned North Central’s Etheldred L. Schafer Pre-Medical Scholarship for two years and was active in the community, taking part in the Circle K Service Club and serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He was selected to join the Blue Key Honor Society and was treasurer of the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society.

“The liberal arts education I’ve obtained here at North Central is a key draw for me,” he says. “I’ve been able to not only obtain the foundational training in biology and the other sciences needed for my medical career, but I’ve also been able to pursue my love of competitive running on the cross country and track teams and play with the college’s pep band, utilizing these opportunities to develop myself in a variety of facets.

07-12-2010