- Associated Press - Saturday, January 31, 2015

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Alyssa Merkle is taking a few days off from classes at UConn to cheer on her New England Patriots.

It’s her job.

Merkle, a senior who is majoring in biomedical engineering, joined the 28-member Patriots cheerleading squad in May.

Since then, she’s been juggling course work, such as developing an incubator to grow and study cancer cells, with rehearsals, promotional events and games.

She’ll be on the sidelines Sunday when the Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

Then it’s back to UConn, where she made the dean’s list last semester with a 3.8 GPA, and is scheduled to graduate in May.

Merkle recently applied to the clinical engineer master’s program at UConn, and plans to pursue a career as a clinical engineer in a hospital.

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