May 13, 2024

Featured Falcons: Anna Katherine Eastman

Though Anna Katherine Eastman originally planned to study biology, an interest in math and medicine drew her to the path of chemistry at the University of Montevallo. The recent UM graduate is Boston-bound this summer, as she has been selected for an internship at Harvard Medical School working alongside one of UM’s distinguished alumni, Dr. Richard Cummings ’74.

Anna Katherine EastmanEach year, Cummings invites a UM student to study in the National Center for Glycomics Research lab as one of his many ways of giving back to his alma mater. Eastman was chosen unanimously by UM’s Department of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics & Computer Science.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to do the research that they have planned for me,” the Cullman native said. “And I’m excited to live in a new area. I haven’t really gotten to live outside of Alabama.”

Eastman earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry and a minor in business in May, and plans to spend a fifth year at UM to earn her MBA. The next stop is medical school, which she hopes will lead her to a career in dermatology.

“The skin has always intrigued me,” Eastman said. “But I also want a good work-life balance and I feel like that’s a good field for it. In some medical careers you’re at the hospital the whole time, but I want to work in a clinic and be able to have a family and be really involved.”

Eastman chose UM when she was offered a scholarship to join the women’s basketball team. Some friends of hers that had joined the team the previous year spoke positively about their experience, which piqued her interest in the school. Eastman had a feeling she would also find fulfillment on the academic side after getting to sit in on a class taught by Dr. Houston Byrd, professor of chemistry.

“I loved the small class atmosphere where you really get to have a relationship with all of your professors,” Eastman said. “Once I got on campus, I got to meet with Dr. Byrd. He sat down with me and my family and I told him what I wanted to do and he was very helpful. It just felt like there was a good connection there.”

Eastman is president of the Pre-Health Professional Society, a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and a TRIO peer tutor. Her involvement on campus, her studies and her time spent playing basketball have all made her feel like she truly belongs at Montevallo.

​​“I felt like the Lord was calling me to come here, and when I came to campus on a visit, I felt at peace. It has been the best decision.”