Kaitlin Klotz

Kaitlin Klotz
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Ph.D. in Biological Sciences
  • Current Graduate Program: Ph.D. in Biological Sciences
  • Program Schedule: Full-Time
  • Delivery Method: In-Person
  • Current Employer: Department of Biological Sciences 
  • Position: Ph.D. student
  • Anticipated Graduation: December 2025  
  • Undergraduate Institution: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Undergraduate Degree: B.S. in Biological Sciences
  • Favorite Place in Charlotte: South End
  • Hometown: Matthews, North Carolina
  • Dream Job: Research Scientist/Professor

What has been your driving force for enrolling in your degree program?

I am pursuing a doctoral degree in biological sciences, specifically in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. When I was seven, I decided that I was going to get a Ph.D. and I have been working towards that dream for 22 years. I enjoy solving problems, and my studies in biology have allowed me to do creative problem-solving in a way that could improve the quality of life for people all over the world.

Why did you choose UNC Charlotte over other universities?

This August marks my tenth anniversary as a Charlotte Forty-Niner. I transferred to UNC Charlotte as a sophomore undergraduate student. I did not expect to stick around long; I was here to get my degree and get out. To my surprise, I fell in love with the university and decided to stay to earn a graduate certificate and a master's degree (both in bioinformatics) from UNC Charlotte. When it came time to apply for doctoral programs a year after completing my master's degree, I prioritized being in a place where I knew what support resources were available to make my experience as positive and well-rounded as possible. Especially since I returned at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was important to me to know exactly where I could go and who I could talk to when problems arose. My experiences as an undergraduate student and as a graduate student helped me to build a supportive network at UNC Charlotte that has contributed to my success during my time here.

If you work outside of graduate school, tell us about your career. What lessons have you learned in your courses that you could apply on the job?

I do not currently work outside of graduate school. In the past, I worked for Levine Cancer Institute as a research technician in the cancer pharmacology lab and I interned for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences just before finishing my master's degree. At Levine Cancer Institute, I used hands-on research techniques I learned in my undergraduate and master's degree programs to complete experiments which resulted in co-authorship on two publications. At the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, I was able to apply lessons learned in my professional development courses to effectively network and identify mentors.

What has been the best part of your academic experience so far? 

The best part of my academic experience has been the collaborative nature of my program. I can approach the other graduate students as well as the faculty in my department for advice and help on just about anything. Amongst my cohort, there is a spirit of support and shared success that I absolutely love. 

How would you describe UNC Charlotte to someone considering a graduate program?

UNC Charlotte is an incredibly valuable education that often gets overlooked in our area. Our student community challenges students to better themselves through academic pursuits, extracurricular endeavors, and professional development and we support each other throughout the process. The opportunities for involvement in research are ample and there is no shortage of fantastic mentors to guide you through your graduate education and transition to your career. The resources available to UNC Charlotte students provide us with the support we need to succeed academically, socially and professionally.

What do you hope to accomplish this year in your role as an ambassador?

This year, I am excited to share my experiences as a UNC Charlotte graduate student with a new group of future Forty-Niners. I hope to be a resource for potential new students and provide them with the guidance to make the best decision possible for their graduate school home.

What do you hope to accomplish this year in your role as an Executive Board member of the Graduate & Professional Student Government?

As the Graduate and Professional Government Chief of Staff, my primary goal is to establish connections between GPSG and graduate students. There are over 6,000 graduate students at UNC Charlotte and GPSG acts as an advocacy organization to represent graduate student interests. To do this, I aim to identify student leaders who are invested in making the UNC Charlotte graduate student experience positive to build the GPSG cabinet. Once the cabinet members have been selected, my mission is to empower them to take an active role in advocacy for the students they represent and shape the graduate student experience at UNC Charlotte. I will act as a resource to help cabinet members in their advocacy and support their efforts throughout the year while working directly with the GPSG Executive Board to ensure that the cabinet has the resources they need to be successful in their advocacy and programming pursuits. 


Connect with Kaitlin on LinkedIn

Contact Kaitlin