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 UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

May 18, 1999
Susan Beasy Latto. Director, UMD Public Relations 218 726-8830
Jill Strand, Instructor, UMD Supportive Services Program 218 726-7099
Dr. Larry Thompson, Assistant Head, UMD Chemistry Department 218 726-8716
John Rinn, 218 728-5884 or (after May 22) 612 401-9411, Eden Praire, MN

UMD Graduate's Remarkable Story of Determination and Achievement

Turns a 1.7 High School GPA to a 3.9 UMD Chemistry GPA
Earns a Spot at Yale Graduate School-Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

The story of John Rinn is a remarkable story of determination and achievement, and he has agreed to share it.

John graduated from high school with a 1.7 grade point average (GPA). By his own words, he was a troublesome student who was kicked out of his private high school and didn't care much that he barely graduated.

After experiencing some success on the local snowboarding circuit, his plan after high school was to try his hand professionally at the sport out west, because he thought it would be fun, and because he needed something to focus his considerable energies on and "keep him out of trouble".

Reality set in, however, and this plan was never realized. From then on his subsequent academic journey took several turns. After "a mediocre year" at Normandale Community College and a "slow start" at UMD with several majors, John's life changed forever....he got turned on to the sciences......especially chemistry.

He received a D+ on his first chemistry exam at UMD, but knew he had found his niche. He enjoyed chemistry and the challenges it presented. He worked vigorously, mastered disciplined study habits and his grades began to rise. He turned the D+ into a B.......and it was the last B he ever received in a chemistry course.

At UMD commencement ceremonies May 22 at the DECC, John will graduate with a 3.9 grade point average in chemistry. He is then going on to Yale University Graduate School in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry this fall.

An additional note, is that John has been a chemistry tutor at UMD assisting other students for the past five quarters. Jill Strand, instructor in the UMD Supportive Services Program said, "John is an exceptional student with a remarkably strong dedication to service. It has been a real pleasure to work with him and to watch him evolve into one of our tutoring leaders."

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