Cumberland University


Adam Wiss: Building Better Lives Through Biology


There are few places where Adam Wiss feels more at home than in the laboratory. A senior Biology major and football linebacker, Wiss is in his element in experimentation, often spending many hours a week preparing for or conducting practical research.

Even when Wiss isn’t handling distillation apparatuses or writing lab reports, he feels surrounded by biology.

“Biology is everything you see around you,” Wiss said. “That’s what keeps it interesting. The small, detailed stuff that you learn about is what makes up everything, from plants to people.”

It is that practical dimension of biology that attracted Wiss to the Biology department at Cumberland University. A native of White House, Tennessee, Wiss originally began his studies at Cumberland in 2008 on a football scholarship. The driven student athlete initially considered studies in accounting and education before realizing that his true passion lay in biology—and in pharmacy.

“Growing up, I was often hurt playing sports, and there were many people who took care of me during those times,” Wiss said. “I want to have an impact on people and their lives as a pharmacist. I want to educate them on a one-on-one basis and give them the information to empower them to live a healthier life.”

Wiss is preparing for that future career every day as a Biology student with the support of professors such as Dr. Sarah Pierce and Dr. Robert Nichols and his fellow Biology students.

“All the faculty want you to succeed, and they provide you with the tools to succeed,” Wiss said. “The Biology department is more or less a family, especially with upper-level Biology students. It’s a pretty unique environment.”

Wiss has flourished in that environment, excelling both in the lab and on the football field. Having become the president of Cumberland’s Beta Beta Beta biological honor society, Wiss has won renown as a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete and Dean’s List student, amongst many other achievements.

In experiments as varied as testing for protein concentrations in protein powders and distilling the cherry flavoring from Cherry Coke, Wiss has gained a firsthand knowledge of the skills he will need to succeed as a future pharmacist.  Wiss has also gained a better sense of his future career field both from his professors and from guest presenters from Cumberland’s Pre-Professional Society.

“I’d like to think that our Biology department is among the best in the country,” Wiss said. “We might be a small school, but our teachers do a great job at preparing us individually for our future careers.”

With that knowledge and his natural passion to be a lifelong learner, Wiss is now looking forward to becoming a pharmacist to help build healthier lives for others through biology.