An Ole Miss Grad’s Pursuit to Yale University

Former Ole Miss student Jake Thrasher will pursue a Ph.D. in biological and biomedical sciences at Yale University in September. Photo by Kristen Hollingsworth.

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

As an illustrator, cartoonist and the president of Rebels Against Sexual Assault (RASA) at Ole Miss, Jake Thrasher left an impact on the LOU community. Now, as he proceeds to further his education and obtain a Ph.D. in biological and biomedical sciences at Yale University, he is looking for a little help along the way.

Born in Birmingham, Thrasher and his younger siblings were raised by his mother solely on her teacher’s salary, which instilled an eager work ethic in young Thrasher.

Thrasher received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (biochemistry track) with a biology and mathematics minor. He worked in three different labs in undergraduate, and his undergraduate thesis was The Effects of Lovastatin and CoQ10 on Metastatic Breast Cancer.

This past summer, Thrasher worked for The Daily Mississippian, Oxford Magazine, and did freelance writing and art in efforts to raise funds for his newest adventure of moving to Connecticut.

Thrasher said due to his mother still raising his younger siblings on a teacher salary, she hasn’t been able to provide as much as she would like to to his fund.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to reach my goal on gofundme and overcome this last financial barrier to achieve my dreams,” he said. “And become the first person in my family to have a Ph.D.”

Thrasher immersed himself in the LOU community during his tenure here. While being the president of RASA, he worked with the University Police Department (UPD) to make the campus a safer place for students.

“I also met with Mayor Tannehill about policies and methods to prevent sexual assault in Oxford,” Thrasher said.

Thrasher was also a part of the journalism community, which he plans to seek out in his new location, too. 

“The student media center at Ole Miss has thoroughly prepared me to work at publications on and off Yale’s campus,” he said.

During his tenure at the university, Thrasher received several journalism accolades including an Associated Press award for one of his columns and the national Society of Professional Journalists award for his cartoons and illustrations

“I plan on continuing journalism while pursuing my Ph.D., and I hope to start doing some science journalism along with the type of work I did in undergraduate,” he said.

Although his program at Yale doesn’t begin until September, Thrasher started his move to Connecticut earlier this week to get acclimated. 

Thrasher started the gofundme to cover his rent, security deposits, moving fees and other additional fees he might encounter until his program starts.

Those wanting to donate to Thrasher’s cause can make a donation through his gofundme account.


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