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Jon Bock graduated from Northwest this spring with his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and aspires to advance his education by studying cancer biology. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Jon Bock graduated from Northwest this spring with his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and aspires to advance his education by studying cancer biology. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

May 26, 2022

Preparation inside, outside classroom helps Bock toward career goals


Jon Bock arrived at Northwest Missouri State University with a goal of preparing himself to enter medical school, and he achieved that goal this spring with the completion of his undergraduate degree.

Bock graduated May 6 with his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and begins work in a Boston lab as a medical scribe while he applies for medical school programs to study cancer biology.

“Med school was always on the horizon,” said Bock, whose grandfather was an ophthalmologist and father worked in family practice. “I knew how much dedication and time it was going to take to try to get there. I just didn’t know if it was going to be more in the lab or more clinical in the medicine.”

Bock began his coursework at Northwest as a biology major and even dabbled in economics and art, but he found his niche in biochemistry. He says he always has had a desire to learn, but at Northwest he developed a network of faculty, staff and colleagues who supported him – and helped him become an effective communicator.

“A growing part of science is being able to network with people, be able to talk to people and communicate your ideas and your thoughts,” he said. “The relationships that I've had with faculty and with classmates have really helped me.”

Outside of the classroom, Bock competed with the Bearcat track and field for three years and counts his performance at the 2020 MIAA indoor track and field championship meet – where he scored points for the team, earned a provisional spot for the national meet and finished with a personal record in the heptathlon after coming back from an ACL injury – as one of his most cherished memories.

“That was a really redeeming moment,” he said. “For everyone that helped me get through that injury because it was a pretty dark time and a lot of time in the athletic training room and then finally to see it all come to a head at the biggest meet of the year – I’ll remember that.”

Additionally, he gained profession-based experience through internships. Last summer, he was a translational medicine intern at a pharmaceutical company in Lawrence, Kansas, and continued to conduct research and experimentation with the lab through the fall semester. During the summer prior, he interned with an urgent care clinic as a patient care assistant.

Bock also worked on campus as a tutor with the Student Success Center – an experience that helped him discover an interest in teaching while preparing him further to continue his own education.

In fact, to supplement his 4.0 GPA at Northwest and academic All-American honors with the Bearcat track and field team, Bock scored in the 100th percentile on the Medical College Admission Test.

“You have to have a good background,” he said. “I’m very proud of the score I got on that, and that’s a direct result of everything I was taught in the four years leading up to it.”

Said Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Jeff Thornsberry, “Jon’s entrance exam scores will ensure that he is heavily recruited by top programs. We are excited by our top students going on to great professional programs every year, but Jon will stand out amongst a group of high-level achievers.”


Media contact:

Dr. Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704