Biology at MCLA

If you have ever been to the second floor of CSI here at MCLA, you will know that is where the Environmental Studies and Biology department are. In that Biology department, there is a professor whose laugh you can recognize anywhere, and that professor’s name in Ann Billetz. The MCLA website can give you all the information you need about her background: she serves as a committee member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), a committee member of the Undergraduate Research Advisory and the advisor as the Biology Club here at MCLA. Her research focuses on the endosymbiont bacteria of sea anemones. She is also working with students to isolate and identify anemone-associated bacteria and explore their biological functions. She teaches courses like Human Biology, Concepts in Biology, Introduction to Biology, Parasitology, Microbiology and Cell Biology. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Walsh College in 1992, a Master’s degree in Biology from Cleveland State University in 1994, a Ph. D. in Regulatory Biology from Cleveland State University in 1998 and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in The Learner Research Institute from Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1999-2002.

My first semester of freshman year was when I met Dr. Billetz. When I was picking classes the summer before I started at MCLA, I saw her Human Biology class. I thought to myself “That sounds interesting, even though I don’t really like biology, but it gets my science without a lab core requirement out of the way.” When I walked in that first day, my opinion about biology changed right away. From the start, she was energetic and excited about the semester which continued through the entire semester. Every time I would see her out of class, she would always say “hi” and be very happy and cheerful about things; it made me want to be happy, too. Although, I feel bad even to this day as I would leave her class often (panic attacks during class aren’t fun). Fortunately, she was very understanding and told me everything was fine and that I had nothing to worry about.

Dr. Billetz is a kind and understanding person. She makes you laugh and smile without even trying. She gives great academic and life advice. She makes biology fun (which I really didn’t think was possible). If you are considering biology as a major or minor and you go to MCLA, go talk to Ann Billetz. She will explain everything and win you over right away. And if you decide to do this, tell her I sent you!