Puzzle pieces fitting for BVU biology major

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Natalie Brewer, a BVU biology major, completed a summer internship at American Natural Processors in Cherokee, her hometown. Brewer tested oil samples and lecithin, among other duties. She took a brief break from her work to return to the BVU campus where she served as a member of the Orientation Team that worked with incoming freshmen.
/ Photo submitted

Natalie Brewer took a break from her summer internship to return to BVU to welcome a huge class of incoming freshman as a member of the Orientation Team. During introductions, Brewer, per the Orientation Team tradition, presented a gift to one new student. Brewer handed out a small puzzle, along with her explanation: “Because everyone’s story is unique, and BVU helps you along the way as you put the pieces together and discover your true identity.”

After sharing her gifts and energies in welcoming new students, Brewer, a biology major, returned to a summer internship at American Natural Processors in Cherokee, her hometown. Brewer spent time there testing oil samples and lecithin, solving puzzles of a different stripe.

American Natural Processors is an industry leader in innovative toll and contract food manufacturing of vegetable oils, proteins, and flours.

“I worked with a Lovibond,” Brewer says of an instrument that measures colors of oil samples. “We’d see if an oil was a good red or a good yellow. We’d sell the oil samples to companies on the coasts.”

American Natural Processors has developed a multitude of organic processes and production lines to produce all sorts of food and feed products. With custom-built expeller press plants, employees mechanically squeeze the oil from a large range of products, doing so in a chemically free manner.

“All the oils are non-GMO verified and they get the butterfly sticker identifying them that way,” Brewer says. “Restaurants use products like this as frying oil, and it’s all organic.”

The position within the lab at American Natural Processors gives Brewer real-world experience, something she contrasts against her hours in labs serving BVU students at the Estelle Siebens Science Center.

“This work gives me some leadership experience in the field and allows me the chance to work with some different instruments and machines,” Brewer says.

Brewer, who serves as president of Beaver Animal Rescue Corps, vice president of BVU Student Senate, vice president of homecoming for Student Activities Board, and sings alto in the choir, seeks to gain admission into graduate school upon her graduation in May.

Her varied experiences at BVU, she says, have helped her fit her puzzle pieces together. Ultimately, she says, these experiences will serve her as she seeks to find her way to a career in health-care administration.