Celeste Cummings, Research Technician II, Pediatric Critical Care Research Laboratory

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Graduation Year: 2019

Major: Biochemistry with a chemical emphasis

Please describe your current work.

I work in a Pediatrics Critical Care research lab where we are interested in the molecular mechanisms that regulate neutrophil activation.

What are your future goals?

My future goals are to conduct medical research and positively impact the lives of many children and families.

In terms of your professional life, what would you say is your overarching purpose today?

My overarching purpose today is to help the youth thrive and grow because they are our future.

How did your time at Westminster help you find that purpose?

During my time at Westminster I received the opportunity to be a part of the Aspen Young Leadership Fellowship in St. Louis, MO. Throughout that 2 year fellowship, I learned a lot about myself, my leadership style, and how passionate I am about my community and youth.

What does being a “leader” mean to you?

The beauty about leadership is that is looks different for everyone. For me, being a leader is standing up for what you believe in and are passionate about. Since graduation, I have been a leader in supporting my friends through our transition from college to adulthood as well as taking the opportunity to be a youth facilitator for the next cohort in the Aspen Young Leadership Fellowship.

What does success mean to you?

Success to me means to live a life of significance.

What is it about Westminster that makes it the kind of community that empowers students to discover their purpose and find success?

I honestly believe that Westminster attracts students who are passionate about learning and becoming global leaders. When the common goal is to learn and there is genuine compassion behind it, I think that’s when the kind of community that empowers students to discover their purpose and find success is created.

Do you recommend Westminster to prospective college students?

Yes, Westminster is the perfect school for students who want the opportunity for their professors to get to know them as well as getting to know their professors. For science and pre-healthcare majors, the cadaver lab is an amazing experience that most people don’t get to experience until they’re in professional school. Because Westminster is such a small liberal arts college, there are tons of opportunities for students to take on leadership roles or try things that may not be able to do at a larger institution.

Favorite Westminster faculty member?

Professor Mary Majerus

Favorite spot on campus?

Hazel 112 and the Center for Faith and Service (CFS)

Last book you read?

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Favorite movie?

A Star is Born

Favorite app?


Favorite way to spend a Sunday?

Playing fetch with my adorable puppy Baxter.

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.