Niklinska, a senior preprofessional student focusing on biology and anthropology with a goal of becoming a physician focused on community and global health, has a robust resume that exemplifies how she made the most of her Notre Dame education to achieve her dreams. Niklinska began research her sophomore year in Professor David R. Hyde’s laboratory studying retinal development and regeneration in adult zebrafish, with an individual project on the role of the actin cytoskeleton in interkinetic nuclear migration and cell cycling. In her junior year, Niklinska began research in Professor Lee T. Gettler’s Hormones, Health and Human Behavior laboratory focused on the hormonal interplay stimulated by the interaction of fathers with their newborn infants, while also pursuing her senior thesis through the biological anthropology lens. This past August, Niklinska conducted research at Professor Adrian Rocha’s field site in Lake Toolik, Alaska, to have a greater understanding of the Arctic and its relationship to the global environment. In addition to her research accomplishments and maintaining a 4.0 GPA, she is an accomplished Notre Dame student-athlete. Niklinska is a member of the Notre Dame Fencing team where she was named the Women’s Epee Captain this year. Healthcare is the most important facet in life, believes senior Eva Niklinska. That, combined with her passion for people and her zeal for science, is what led Niklinska to become a preprofessional major at the University of Notre Dame.
Outside of academic and athletic life, Niklinska gives back to the South Bend community where she grew up. Throughout the year, she volunteers at the Sister Maura Brannick Health Center, a clinic that provides primary healthcare services to uninsured residents of St. Joseph County. It is here that Niklinska continues to better herself and her understanding of the healthcare system by engaging with a diverse, and sadly, often marginalized, population in her community.
Niklinska comes from a Polish family background, and in an effort to connect to the community of her heritage, she has traveled to Poland to make an impact there. In January, Niklinska volunteered at the Laski Educational Center for Vision-Impaired and Blind Children in Poland where she had a humbling experience working with little girls in 2nd grade. In June, Niklinska participated in the 9th International Conference of Polish Medical Associations with a bilingual presentation on the history of the development of the polio vaccine.
Niklinska believes that the College of Science and its personnel, along with the Glynn Family Honors Program, are some of the major factors in supporting her endeavors. “The College of Science is amazing and allows me to achieve the goals I want to accomplish.” Niklinska also commented on her relationships with College of Science personnel, “The deans and advisors are great people to know and I am honored to work with them.”
When asked if there was anything she regretted not being able to do, Niklinska replied that she wishes she could have studied abroad, but because of her major and her status as a student-athlete, she simply did not have the time in her schedule to fit that in. Nevertheless, her intellectual curiosity and desire to help people have allowed her to do so much that as long as she continues to be “positive like a proton” (her personal mantra), the world will surely be her oyster.