Posted by Rosaline Cordova: October 13, 2011
This summer I had the privilege of working in Dr. Jason Huntley’s lab through the undergraduate research program, USRCAP. My project involved testing a vaccine from immunization to infection. The experience that I had this summer was life changing for a few reasons.
First, this project opened my eyes to the world of real science, and how important scientific research truly is to continue our knowledge and understanding of our surroundings. Working in the lab was much different than the cookie cutter experiments that we are used to from Gen Chem and Bio, the results you yield are real and have to be interpreted, and sometimes you may not even get the same result twice. Real science involves real hard work and real thinking, but it also involves real fun and real gratification!
Secondly, the opportunity to be mentored by someone that will help you grow as a student and person was an incredible experience. Dr. Huntley has been an awesome mentor to me, so much so that I have chosen to continue to work in his lab this semester on my honors thesis! He has taught me so much about vaccines, biochemistry, and lab technique, which has been so cool because my research project actually relates to what I am learning in class! He also taught me how to build a good presentation, showed me the importance of following through on everything I do, and motivated me to meet due dates. Dr. Huntley has been so patient with me every step of the way, and I am glad that my first research experience was in his lab. He is a great mentor and teacher.
Lastly, my research project is something that I earned that will help me in my future education and career. When I was growing up my dad would always tell me that the choices I make today effect my experiences tomorrow. My decision to conduct this research project definitely has impacted my future experiences in such a positive way, especially as an aspiring doctor.
If you couldn’t already tell, from student to fellow students, I highly encourage you to participate in undergraduate research if you have the opportunity. Hands down it will be one the best choices you make as a student, and it will change your life. The experience will benefit you greatly enhancing your classroom experience in ways you never thought possible. Also, performing research will open many doors for you as you continue your academic journey. Of course it will be hard work, but anything in life that is actually worth something comes with the price of hard work. Trust me, it’s so worth it!
Check out your opportunities on the Office of Undergraduate Research home page on UT’s website. And if I can help you in any way just let me know!
ps. can’t wait for another Rocket victory over BGSUcks!!! GOOO Rockets!