Saturday, December 6, 2014

Our Extraordinary Team : Mark Antkowiak


Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UC Davis, to be completed 2014

Currently a senior undergraduate at UC Davis, Mark studies biochemistry as his major and computer science as his minor. Using the knowledge he has gained in his studies, he specializes in working with students in math, physics, chemistry, biology, and computer science. As a part time researcher and a full time student, Mark understands the difficulties of managing time effectively and keeping on top of tough material. He believes that, with proper planning and persistence, anyone can reach his or her goal, whether it is completing a long laboratory experiment or acing a difficult calculus final. He strongly believes that “proper planning prevents poor performance.”

Keeping in mind his ultimate goal of becoming a physician researcher, Mark dedicates himself to thoroughly understanding his coursework and challenging his peers and students to achieve their best through hard work and perseverance. Starting with helping his junior pre-medical peers to excel in their classwork, Mark has continued to influence those around him; he volunteers with the Reading with Children program at a local elementary school and is an undergraduate biochemistry teaching assistant at UC Davis.

Throughout such involvement with the community, Mark’s goals for each of his students have remained the same: 1) form a strong knowledge base of core concepts to build upon, 2) develop strong time-management skills, and 3) nurture the development of critical thinking and problem solving.

Mark teaches students that every difficult problem can be broken down into simpler ones, and knowing the intricacies of the simple problems is quintessential to solving the tougher ones. As a self-professed lover of puzzles, Mark has always viewed the breaking down of such problems as a fun challenge. His infectious enthusiasm for such challenges encourages students to take on difficult problems, and seeing their success is one of the greatest joys he has been rewarded with.

What is one surprising fact about you?

I still own the Nintendo 64 I had in my childhood and play games on it every once in a while. My favorite game on this system is Super Smash Brothers and in high school I managed to win $50 in a tournament by playing this game.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things would you bring?

If I were stuck on a deserted island, I would bring a sailboat, a water purification device and a satellite phone. I would use these items to get unstuck from the deserted island and make my way back home.

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