Amanda Mary “Mandy” Lakatos, of Chesterton,
has been fascinated with animals since she was a little
girl. In high school she took just about every biology
course she could take. Once she graduated, a biology
major in college was a given.
Lakatos earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology
and intends to work with animal science in the future.
“I work at a local veterinarian’s office
that does a lot of wildlife rehabilitation. That is
my passion,” she explained. “I want to work
with animals someway, whether it is at a zoo or the
animal clinic, or in conservation or environmental science.”
On campus she immersed herself in activities that
helped her learn more about biology, conservation, animals
and the outdoors.
She assisted Dr. Robin Scribailo, professor of Biology;
and Dr. Mitch Alix, assistant professor of Biology,
for two summers on their research with aquatic plants
learning about plants and gaining skills that can be
applied in a variety of laboratory settings –
such as water quality testing and processing specimens.
Among her favorite experiences at PNC were being part
of the “Birds of Northwest Indiana” class
taught by Dr. Chris Holford, associate professor of
Biology, and department chair.
According to Lakatos, “That entire summer class
was so fascinating. We went to several different locations,
including the PNC campus. I never knew PNC has such
an abundance of birds.”
Second to that would be the Astronomy class observation
night on campus that gave students a view of the constellations
and star systems.
She also was president of the Xi Rho Chapter of Beta
Beta Beta, the PNC division of the National Biological
Society. She is also active in her church.
In the meantime, she maintained a high grade point
average. “I’ve maintained it by studying
HARD. I’ve really worked to keep my GPA high,”
Lakatos has spoken highly of PNC to others who are
searching for the right college or university to earn
“It is part of the Purdue system so you have
a quality education. The small class sizes allowed me
to really get to know my professors on a personal level.
I was comfortable with them and was not afraid to ask
for help. If you are looking for a good education, personal
relationships with professors, and something close to
home, PNC is definitely it,” she says.
She also advises students to “Use the campus
to its fullest extent. It has so much to offer –
a fitness center, excellent computer labs, a huge library,
hiking trails, and much more.”
But Lakatos is quick to credit her friends and family
for their support while she tended to her studies.
“It was very difficult at times but through
the help of my friends and family I made it,”
she said. “My family has been essential. My parents,
Marty and Cathie, never stopped encouraging me. My brother,
who has a degree in biology, helped me understand different
concepts, and my sister Carrie helped me innumerable
times. My grandparents, Steve and Esther Kristoff, had
continuous love and faith in me.
"The Keithley family helped me by working around
my schedule and being understanding when I needed extra
time to study. My friends Jenny, Erin, Carrie, and Lindsay
helped me study and enjoy college life, keeping me sane
in the process. My boyfriend Mike has been wonderful
helping me study for tests and sitting through hours
of practice presentations.”
After graduation, Lakatos plans to stay in the area
so she can make a positive impact on community alike.
“PNC has provided me with a solid foundation
and numerous connections to help make that goal a reality.”
Back to Profiles