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Honored Graduate: Beth Heninger

For Beth Heninger (MMBIO ’23), life is all about finding the music. From playing the flute in BYU’s marching band, to being the cookie maker in her family, to studying immunology, Heninger keeps her hands full.

A light-skinned woman with light hair smiles and sits in a green chair by a whiteboard. She holds a red whiteboard marker in her left hand and draws a picture of a black circle with short blue lines coming out of it. The picture is labeled as "Coronavirus."
Heninger draws a diagram of coronavirus.
Photo by Nicholas Rex

Growing up in Oregon with six brothers and one sister, Heninger has always loved participating in band: marching, jazz, and ensemble. She plays the flute and the trumpet. She started band in sixth grade, joined the marching band in high school, and played everywhere in between. “I just really, really like music,” Heninger says. She spent all four of her years at BYU in the university’s marching band.

After researching the different biology programs BYU offers, Heninger found she resonated with microbiology. “I felt so excited for all the classes, and I couldn’t say that for the other majors,” Heninger says. When she considers her time in the major, she says, “I never regretted [choosing] it.”

A perk of studying microbiology at BYU, Heninger found, is the faith that intertwines with science, giving her the opportunity to balance her testimony with her studies. “A lot of people have a hard time reconciling biology and evolution with the Gospel and Creation, and I’ve just never had a problem with that,” Heninger says. “It is amazing to learn about how complicated the body is and how complicated other organisms are and this, to me, testifies that we do have a Creator.”

After graduation, she plans to go back home to Oregon for a little while, and then she will start thinking about graduate school. In the meantime, she hopes to get a job in a laboratory to get more lab experience.

A light-skinned woman with medium hair smiles. She wears a plaid black-and-white shirt and stands in front of a building that is partly made of concrete and partly reflective.
Photo by Nicholas Rex

To students considering the microbiology program, Heninger says to make sure you’re passionate about it. She encourages students to start with the Infection and Immunity class, which sparked her passion from the beginning. “Take that class and see how you like it, because if you're not excited about the stuff you're learning, it might not be the place for you. You want to do what you're excited about,” Heninger says. As she has harmonized the melodies of band and microbiology, Heninger knows how to stay excited.