Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
CEINT Research Site: Lab of Dr. David Hinton and Melissa Chernick, Duke University
I am extremely grateful that CEINT was my first REU program. Having worked in several labs but never on a project I could truly call my own, I found myself growing as a research-oriented thinker each step along the way of the research project. Honestly, what I value most about my summer with CEINT are the connections and friendships I made with my fellow interns, the mentors and the other faculty. Everyone came from unique and diverse educational, geographic and cultural backgrounds, yet we were all united by our passion for science - there were definitely more than plenty nanotechnology jokes made throughout the summer. It’s a rewarding feeling to come home after a long day at the lab and to be able to chat about my research with people who would not only listen to my lab stories but were also truly engaged and interested. All in all, the REU program was an educational experience both inside and out of the lab. I also appreciate all the time taken by the mentors in developing our knowledge of nanotechnology from all aspects. It was an honor to work with the experts and pioneers in the nanotechnology field. I would especially like to give a shout out to my mentors Melissa and Dr. Hinton in the Hinton Lab, who were very supportive throughout the whole summer and taught me more lab skills and about independent research than I could ever learn from a classroom setting. They created a lab family that I would love to emulate for future research settings.
My research project at CEINT has helped me focus my interests within the interdisciplinary field of environmental biology. Toxicology and materials science may not be the exact paths for me to pursue, but I am definitely interested in what the fields have to offer. Though I plan to apply to graduate school programs, I am reconsidering a future in academia and may choose to apply my research more directly through other types of field research-based organizations (for example, Fish and Wildlife Service or Wildlife Conservation Society).