Hannah Vester ’17
The college experience is one where a widening perspective can illuminate intimate connections within each student, and the broader world. At a minimum, this helps develop some elements of character and comprehension. For some, it is a revelation.
Hannah Vester counts herself among the latter. A Tuscaloosa native, she was always strong in faith and captivated by nature and science. When those paths intersected at the University of Mobile, she was led to dive deep into their overlap. That pursuit, guided by favorite teachers like Dr. Randy Craig and Dr. Gail Shelly, not only brought her closer to her Creator, but also led her into a life-changing career in clinical research.
Through those relationships, “my love for science was strengthened and I learned more about how science and creation go hand-in-hand and how God intertwines the two,” Vester said. “I believe my time at UM prepared me to more clearly see and understand His handiwork.”
This year she saw in dramatic fashion how her career choice can have a direct impact on those around her and throughout the world. Vester was among clinical researchers in labs across the nation working to understand how the new coronavirus acted and how to fight it. The research she was involved with eventually led to the creation of the Pfizer vaccine being distributed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With a career in clinical research, I see firsthand how amazing science is and what it can create, such as life-saving medications and vaccines,” she said.
Her new Etsy side hustle, Breath Easy Goods, promotes the benefits of science, with original buttons and stickers and messages like “Thanks Science” and “Science is like Magic but Real.”
With a Bachelor of Science in biology, the 2017 graduate’s current work not only addresses issues related to the global coronavirus pandemic, but other critical healthcare issues. And the perspective she’s gained since leaving her hometown in 2012 has manifested in her love of world travel, the great outdoors and, especially, love. It was during her college career where she met her husband, Heath, creative director of the University of Mobile’s Office for Marketing and Public Relations.
In addition to their shared love of dessert and travel with their beloved dogs and brand-new son, Asher, the Vesters also enjoy giving back to the place that fostered their connection.
“UM brought us together and taught us things both on an individual and collective level,” Hannah Vester said. “I love that we both have a desire to be involved as alumni, and have an equal desire to attend events and continue our involvement.
“I believe that UM will always be a key part of our lives.”