Nicole Michmerhuizen, who graduated last year, was recently awarded the NCAA’s Top Ten award. As the name implies, this prize is awarded to just 10 of the approximately 460,000 student-athletes participating in all divisions of the NCAA.
The prize is awarded for success on the field (or the track), academic achievement and community service. Michmerhuizen holds the school records in the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters.
She was also the 2013 Division III National Champion in the 10,000 meters and is a multiple time All-American in track and field. In addition to her athletic achievements, Michmerhuizen graduated from Calvin with a 3.99 GPA and was the recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship for her scientific research.
She is now at the University of Michigan studying pharmacology. Michmerhuizen’s character is most apparent in her own words.
Q: Who impacted you most while you were at Calvin?
“Do I have to choose only one person? I think that academically professor Kumar Sinniah definitely had a huge impact on me by giving me the opportunity to do research in his lab. He also cared about me as a person and was committed to my success after Calvin. In running, all the coaches were so important to making me a better athlete but also a better person. If I had to choose one, I think that coach Brian Diemer and I probably connected the most and that he had the biggest impact on me.”
Q: Why are you studying pharmacology?
“I like pharmacology, which, simply defined, is the study of how drugs act on your body and how your body responds to drugs, because I think that what I could discover in my research might greatly improve someone’s quality of life. I have a passion for research because it is a way to consider questions that no one else knows the answer to, and research in pharmacology is even better because the answers to these questions could be used to develop more effective treatments for disease.”
Q: How has your faith shaped your achievements?
“In everything I do, I strive to honor God by using to the best of my ability the talents he has blessed me with. Whether in the classroom or on the track or anywhere else, I hope that my life is a reflection of the gratitude that I owe to Christ’s saving work in my life. God has been faithful to me and has blessed me beyond what I could have dared to ask for or imagine. In response, I can only do my best to fulfill his calling in my life. God has given me a passion for pharmaceutical research and the ability to run; I desire to use these gifts, as well as many others, for his glory.”