Charrelle Coates ('09) | Chemistry & Biochemistry

charrelle coates

Biochemistry major
from Clarksville, Tennessee

To Charrelle Coates, it's all about giving back.

The senior biochemistry major and future physician is passionate about serving others and found ACU the perfect place to explore her passion.

ACU offered her smaller classes and more hands-on experience through lab work and extracurricular programs. Her professors know her on a personal level - in fact, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has a tradition of a yearly cookout at one of the professors' houses. And she felt challenged to live as well as talk about her life of faith.

Rigorous academic experience

Throughout this process, Charrelle has found her experience at ACU to be as academically rigorous - or more so - than at other schools. "ACU really does prepare you," she said.

Charrelle has repaid the university and the community with hours of service and commitment. She was a teacher's assistant for general chemistry her sophomore and junior years, teaching younger students the concepts she'd learned. Her efforts turned out to have an unexpected bonus when tutoring others helped her on the MCAT, the medical college entrance test.

She also was a peer leader for biochemistry’s U100 group her junior and senior years. She enjoys helping students discover whether or not the department is right for them and developing strong relationships with incoming freshmen.

"I get excited at seeing them succeed," she said.

Body & Soul gives first-hand view

Charrelle is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, which brings in doctors and dentists once a month to talk to students about combining medical skill with an active faith. She also shadowed doctors through ACU's Body & Soul Program, learning the practical aspects of her future career through hands-on experience.

Outside of the classroom, Charrelle has been busy serving others as well. She has gone on Spring Break Campaigns every year, using her vacation time to focus on others. She was involved in the annual Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry fair for elementary children during ACU's Homecoming celebrations. She also works with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Abilene.

Serving her community

Her community service activities are preparing her for her future goal - working in an inner-city hospital or clinic. When Charrelle considers who she wants to help and who needs help the most, her heart keeps returning to inner-city patients, she said. She wants to serve those who don't have good healthcare or top-level treatment, and she doesn't mind the possibility of difficulty or violence. Letting fear drive her away from something she's called to do is unthinkable, she said.

It all comes back to ACU's motto: changing the world for Christ. "I want to change someone's world, so they won't be hindered by the physical anymore," she said.

Learn more about attending ACU 


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The ACU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry trains students to be exceptional Christian servants and leaders in chemical and biochemical careers.
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