The most advantageous aspect of interning at MCAD is how much interns are able to observe and become directly involved in the process. Throughout the course of our internships, we are scheduled to attend an investigative conference, a mediation conference, and an appeals hearing. These opportunities have allowed to me progress through my defined learning goals. Not only do I get a chance to read dozens of different cases, but I also get to see how different processes and steps work. During the mediation conference, I got to see a complainant and a respondent settle on a monetary amount after the complainant’s case was found by MCAD to have probable cause of discrimination. While I cannot go into great detail about the cases or the conferences, it has been great to get a chance to observe and ask the mediators and attorneys questions afterwards. Everyone is very willing to help and explain how the organization deals with differing situations. I am becoming more and more familiar with discrimination law, both on the state and federal level, just from my work with cases as I am usually the first person to see a case when it is sent to the housing department.

My goals for this internship included not only learning about discrimination law, but also figuring out if I am interested in pursuing a career in this area.   I already know that I want to go to law school and that I am interested in civil rights, but I wanted to see if I liked both working in anti-discrimination law and working for the state. As far as working for the state, I have found it a bit difficult to deal with the bureaucracy in general but admire the work that is done. I am learning that working for the state means being connected to different state and federal organizations as well. For example, when MCAD takes a housing case, we also have to file with HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development). This means entering the case both into our system and HUD’s system (TEAPOTS), then waiting for approval. As the case goes on, there are tons of different steps that have to be taken. This allows the case to be reviewed by different organizations such as HUD and the BFHC (Boston Fair Housing Commission).Department_of_Housing_and_Urban_Development[1]

As far as working with anti-discrimination law, it still may be something I am interested in pursuing, but not at the state level. Cases tend to take an extremely long time just to be investigated because of how many cases each investigator is assigned to. I also want to be able to do other types of law and litigation along with anti-discrimination law.
Despite some reservations, I still find the internship to be enjoyable. Because there are so many interns, I have gotten a chance to become very close with some of them and we have lunch and go out all the time. I also feel that because I am in the housing department which is smaller, I have had to work harder to adjust and learn how to do things. This was difficult at first, but now I see it as a new skill (thinking on my feet) that I have had to develop as a result. This is something I believe will help me greatly in future internships and jobs. I also am honing skills in my attention to detail. At MCAD, it is crucial that everything be entered correctly. Even in intake, if we do something wrong when writing the complaint, often we cannot just change it but have to go through an amendment process because we are working with legal documents. This has taught me to be extremely cautious with my work, especially when people’s cases can be effected by the complaint I write for them.

Finally, I am most proud of the work I have been able to do on intake. As I mentioned in my first post, I am on intake for one full day a week and have to see clients and write complaints for them. First, the attorneys who review the complaints I write give me great feedback and have told me that my complaints are very well written. Also, I am especially proud of one of the complaints I wrote. The complaint went to the housing department so I got to enter it in and one of the best investigators took the case. She has scheduled an investigative conference in August so that I will be able to attend. I think the case is very strong for the complainant and I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

 

This summer has been full of exciting new research at the Behavioral Health Partial Program at McLean Hospital. I have accomplished a lot since the beginning of the summer. My main learning goals consisted of acquiring knowledge about the process behind writing a publishable research article, and I am certainly forming an understanding. I learned how to complete a full literature search and formed a database of all of the articles relevant to our research paper, which will address the predictors of suicidality in patients with psychosis. Based on past research, we chose what predictors to include in our model. Upon doing so, we assessed the chosen factors for significance and found those that relate to suicidal ideation. I learned about the statistics behind the analyses used in our study. Thus, I have already learned how to complete a literature search, hypothesize and formulate a model, and understand statistical analyses. Recently, I completed a rough draft of the introduction and methods section of the paper.

The building to the left is the BHP headquarters.  (http://cdasr.mclean.harvard.edu/index.php/participate/directions)

The building to the left is the BHP headquarters. (http://cdasr.mclean.harvard.edu/index.php/participate/directions)

These have not been the only projects I have completed. I am also working on completing a bigger literature search for a cognitive biased modification (CBM) experiment that is ongoing, along with nearly completing a visual timeline of BHP measures. I have read widely about CBM, and am continuing to learn more about the effect of this type of treatment on mental health. From the timeline of measures I learned and understood the current and past surveys administered at the BHP. This timeline will also provide comprehensive information about the surveys for other researchers who are using BHP data. The timeline will visually show how long certain surveys were administered to patients and how many patients have completed the surveys. Overall, I have learned a lot about forming a study, analyzing data, and writing drafts. I have also been involved with other studies within the BHP and have gotten the chance to help make data more organized for others to use.

My daily BHP materials.

My daily BHP materials.

I recognize my growth in research knowledge as I read studies for literature searches, which are becoming easier to complete. It has become easier to understand other papers’ rationale and methodology. When starting the rough draft of the paper, I found it easier to write than my past psychology papers.

I am most proud of the work I have completed on the suicidality and psychosis paper, and it is exciting for me to begin the process of drafting and re-writing. It took a lot of work to get everything completed and to begin writing. So far, I feel like I have gained a better understanding of the research process, which will be useful if I am involved in research in the future. I have also gained a sense of what research is like in a treatment setting, which has given me the opportunity to better understand the field I hope to pursue. Besides understanding, I have gained focus and persistence, along with skills in maneuvering SPSS, Excel, BHP databases, and online databases.

Lauryn Garner, ’15

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It is amazing how quickly this summer has gone by and that I am more than half way done interning with the Boston Public Health Commission.  BPHC’s inspections of Boston public schools is completed for now, so I have been shadowing health inspectors as they conduct inspections in small businesses such as nail and hair salons.  I also went to an emergency health hazard call at a restaurant in Mattapan where a sewage pipe burst in the basement of the building complex, which also affected a neighboring barbershop.  The restaurant’s permit for operation was suspended until the matter was cleared up and they passed a follow-up inspection.  I still find it  interesting to observe the protocol for each inspection, in different types of businesses, that the commission deals with on a day-to-day basis.

In addition to shadowing these inspections, a majority of my work this month was directed towards finding an affordable ventilation system for nail salons that meets the new regulation standards.  Recent regulations put into effect by the commission regarding ventilation in nail salons include an increased outdoor airflow rate and the banning of recycled air within the salons.  These requirements follow those set forth by the International Mechanical Code of 2009 http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/imc/2009/icod_imc_2009_4_par015.htm and must be fulfilled by October of this year.  Most of the salons will have trouble meeting this deadline for financial reasons, as existing ventilation systems that fulfill the requirements are pricey.

Finding appropriate ventilation for the salons is difficult as well because specific requirements pose different challenges.  For example, the zero percent recycled air requirement will make it hard for salons to retain heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, so a system that can fulfill the need of exhausting air without losing heat is ideal, but expensive.  This is why the commission is working with students at Wentworth Institute of Technology on developing an affordable system.  I was tasked with trying to find a mechanical engineer who was familiar with the International Mechanical Code of 2009 and was interested in partnering with the Wentworth students on developing a system. However, none so far have shown a strong interest because the scope of the project is daunting, or because they are unfamiliar with the needs of the nail salons.

Lastly, I have continued to do educational outreach with nail salons and auto body shops through the commission’s Green and Clean program http://www.bphc.org/whatwedo/healthy-homes-environment/green-and-clean/Pages/Green-and-Clean.aspx.  This involves going out to new auto body shops throughout Boston to inform them about the program and its benefits, such as free advertising of your business on the commission’s website as being a “green” business.  If a business decides to sign on, then a follow-up walk through is conducted and if enough points are earned, then the business passes.  For auto body shops, points can be made for initiatives like recycling oil or windshield glass, in addition to using a water based primer instead of an oil based one.  Overall, my experience with the commission continues to be personally fulfilling as I feel that I am directly impacting the improvement of public health within the city of Boston, which is a fantastic feeling at the end of each day. I look forward to seeing what project I get involved in next.

IMG_0309IMG_0326To the left is a picture of a typical flammable storage container and it is required that all flammable or volatile chemicals be stored within one, such as the acetone seen in the picture in a nail salon.

To the right is a paint spraying room in an auto body shop.  One of the point based initiatives in the Green and Clean program is that all paint spraying conducted in an auto body shop must take place in one of these regulation spraying rooms with proper ventilation.

-Ben Krause ’15

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As I am passing the midpoint of this internship I find the event quite bittersweet. Although I am so grateful for all that I have learned and elated that this opportunity came into my life, I am sad to think it is coming to a close. Even though I still have weeks left at the office, I know that they will fly by and before I can blink, this experience will have ended.

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At the start of my internship I set certain goals for myself: academic, career, and personal. As the internship unfolds I can see my initial goals becoming fulfilled. Academically I wanted to apply my psychology and business knowledge to the world of Human Resources. I find on a daily basis I use the skill set I have learned from my courses at Brandeis. Whether conducting an interview and using knowledge from “Personality” to get a sense of a person in 20 minutes from body language and how they talk, from sitting in on a meeting with directors and understanding certain business concepts, my academic career has proven to be a tremendous aid in the corporate world. My career goals were to experience HR in full and to gain experience in the corporate world. As previously described, this internship provides a 360 degree view of all aspects of HR, and as I am progressing in this position, I find myself taking on more responsibilities. I am becoming a self sufficient employee and considered a full member of the Human Resources team.

Leading employees through paperwork at oreintation

Leading employees through paperwork at oreintation

As seen in the photos above, I have moved from simply assisting to leading employees through orientation. I am most proud of that I am learning so much and applying what I learned. I can do tasks myself and am trusted to carry out those important tasks. I am truly taking a leadership role in the internship and taking in and learning everything I possibly can.

As for the personal goals I set, since previously being a hostess I was excited to learn about the restaurant industry from the corporate perspective. Not only am I able to learn about this from a Human Resources stance but as a part of the internship project I get to learn about the restaurant industry from the view of all the departments. From marketing, purchasing, finance, to operations, through this project I am able to see exactly what is necessary to create a functioning and smooth running restaurant and corporation.

I am learning every single day and the skills I am developing I will carry out well after this internship ends. From fine tuning my skill set in Excel to learning other programs and techniques, I will continue to carry out and expand my knowledge throughout the school year. Additionally, this internship undoubtedly is creating a sort of discipline within me that I can apply to my future career at Brandeis. It will cause me to be more professional, more thoughtful, create a schedule, and handle certain tasks that I may have thought overwhelming in the past to something manageable. Commuting alone instills a discipline, getting up early every morning and having what feels like an entire day go by before you even set foot in the office at 9am. This along with all I am learning in the office are tools I will set up in my academic life to become more successful.

I am more than halfway through my internship and I have learned a lot, although sometimes in ways that I did not expect. When I came into my internship I thought that I would mostly learn about cities and the effects that local community projects have on a neighborhood. In my WOW application I wrote that I had a desire to learn about different projects through phone interviews. During my time at ioby I have been tasked with running a follow up survey to learn about the lasting impacts that ioby projects have had on their communities. These calls have been helpful in teaching me about different ideas that people have for their neighborhoods. Learning about creative small scale urban projects will help me continue my academic growth as I pursue my IIM in urban studies and possible career path in urban planning. In addition to this my phone conversations have allowed me to interact with a variety of people across the country that I would otherwise be unable to meet.

Reflecting back on when I started my internship, I initially thought that I had not gained any new skills but after giving it some thought I have realized that growth can sometimes be hard to detect. I feel that this internship has helped me become more comfortable cold calling people on the phone. I feel like I am part of my organization, a concept that takes some getting used to. This feeling of being part of an organization has made it a lot easier to speak for ioby (our policies, mission etc.). This process has been facilitated by attending weekly meetings with the full staff. During these meetings every person shares what they have done last week and what their plans are for the next week. In addition, we practice sharing stories of our project leaders. We have also had the opportunity to ask open questions to the co-founders of the organization.

While I have learned a great deal about urban projects, I did not expect to learn so much about non-profits as a whole. The organization that I am interning for, ioby, is a very small non-profit. At the headquarters there are only 3 full time staff members. I have had the awesome opportunity to work in the same room as everybody in the organization which has given me an interesting perspective as to the daily happenings of a nonprofit organization. I am glad that I have been able to learn so much through my internship and I look forward to learning more in the coming weeks. Bellow I have attached two pictures that are examples of projects that I have been able to learn about through my interviews.

 

Revamp and Rebuild raised money to rebuild a community garden

 

Prenatal Yoga en el Bronx offers bilingual prenatal fitness to low income communities in the Bronx

- Josh Berman ’15

At the mid-point of my internship, I feel that I am making considerable progress on my learning goals. At FDD, I have had the opportunity to draft analytical pieces and conduct granular research on a daily basis. I am also able to collaborate with senior research fellows who help to shape and focus my analysis. My internship has sharpened my writing skills because I am forced to write concisely and expediently to meet the deadlines and expectations established by my supervisors. Moreover, I am constantly shifting projects and topics, which has improved my ability to quickly synthesize information and provide analysis based on the limited information available. Finally, I am sometimes tasked to do research on certain obscure issues that have not been sufficiently covered in the Western media. As a result, I must rely on foreign language sources and build off of incomplete information, two facets of my work environment that have greatly enhanced my research skills. Although there is no established or institutionalized mechanism that allows me to track my growth during the internship, I receive constant feedback and constructive criticism from my supervisors. This feedback loop has greatly improved my writing and analytical skills and forced me to engage at a deeper level with the research material I handle.

 

I have also had the opportunity to write for a general audience at FDD. I am most proud of the three pieces that I have coauthored that have been published online in various locations. I am currently monitoring conflict and tracking the evolution of violent non-state actors in North Africa and I have collaborated on two research products pertaining to the current conflict between two militia coalitions in Benghazi, Libya. I have compiled resources and produced written reports on the nascent violent struggle in Benghazi and have also designed two graphics that map out kinetic activities (i.e. violent attacks) in the city. In addition, I helped to produce briefing material for war games concerning the potential spillover of violence in Iraq into neighboring countries. The latter assignment was particularly engaging for me because it allowed me to anticipate events and consider contingency plans should violence escalate in neighboring countries. This thought exercise also provided me with an insight into the war planning process that occurs within the government as policymakers seek to predict events and suggest possible policies to help manage crises.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, this internship has had a fundamental impact on my analytical skills and research abilities. The skills that I am cultivating at FDD will serve me tremendously in both my academic career and in my professional life. I feel much more comfortable as a writer because I am frequently writing reports and memos and have little time to agonize over a future project. Perhaps the most important skill learned at FDD that I will be able to transfer back to an academic setting is my ability to assess research and identify gaps within the analysis of my peers. This skill will be highly useful in helping me to identify flaws within my work as I continue to write papers at Brandeis. This internship has been a very valuable learning experience thus far and I look forward to continuing the work and applying the skills that I have learned in an academic environment.

It’s been an exciting summer, to say the least.

During my first week I jumped right into action at MataHari, a Boston-based women’s social justice nonprofit organizing to end gender-based violence and exploitation.  The Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights passed the Massachusetts Senate only a few weeks prior, and the Bill was on the slate for the MA House of Representatives the following week.  The excitement and energy in the office was huge.  MataHari had been organizing for the past four year with several other groups like the Massachusetts Domestic Workers’ Coalition on the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights to reach a vote in MA State congress.  Additionally, International Domestic Workers’ Day was the following Monday (June 16th) which added an extra layer of pressure to the big event.

In the midst of all the excitement, I began my work the Hacker in Residence Intern by developing a plan for MataHari’s new website, hoping for a timely launch near the prospective passage of the DWBoR.  I worked closely with my supervisor to discuss the essence of MataHari, the target audience, and other aspects necessary for developing a solid sitemap for a new website.  We both began to layout design suggestions as I looked into developing the requisite code for creating features to meet what we determined to be MataHari’s specific needs, a process during which I started to greatly improve my project planning skills, client communication skills, and technical (design and coding) skills – which are all part of my career and classroom goals I planned to hone this summer.  Perhaps the most invigorating part of this process, though, was talking with my supervisor Monique about what MataHari’s members (many of whom are domestic workers, caregivers, and women of color) were looking for in a site, what resources and information they wanted to see, and what their vision was for the organization.  One of the most enriching aspects of this work, and this internship in general, is just the ability to ask questions – of my supervisor, of other interns, and of community members – and to learn their thoughts on different social justice issues, such as the integration of community organizing, advocacy and legislation – and how they best see the intersectionality addressed in the realm of technology.

My enthusiasm and enrichment only grew the second week when we held the International Domestic Workers’ Day Celebration at the MataHari office.  As the interns and small staff prepared for the evening celebration, I began to learn a lot about our different working and communication styles – an aspect of having coworkers I hadn’t had to think so carefully about before.  It was a great learning experience, though, as throughout the late afternoon we started to communicate more effectively what we did and didn’t need in terms of instruction and organization.

I was in charge of the Karaoke, which according to my supervisor was to be the focal point of the celebration!  I was fairly nervous setting up the equipment and the technical details as I prepared to DJ in front of a crowded room of our sister organizations as well as community members and domestic workers whom I had not yet met!  As the other interns and I ushered folks into the room, I sat down and began to take requests.  Monique, our supervisor, told all the interns that as part of our “initiation” we had to sing!  While she said so jokingly, she did make the point that putting ourselves out there did help create a safer space for everyone to put themselves out there — and that “leadership” is, partially, reliant on demonstration, creating comfort for all other parties to step up and feel safe, and then stepping back as parties begin to feel confident in that space.

Karaoke was a true blast.  My fellow intern Chrystal and I sang the Spanglish version of “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan and David Bisbal, and the room went wild.  MataHari members, caregivers, and children sprung up waving their hands back and forth, people sang along with us, and the energy among us was amazing.  Next, person by person and group by group people came up to me to request songs, and there was something beautiful about each performance.

While we were focused on celebrating International Domestic Workers’ Day and the passage of the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in Congress, we also laughed, danced and sang together as a community, and that was when I saw the real power in the work we do.

 

 

- Emmy Calloway, 2015

 

I have been at my internship with the Greater Valley Area Health Education Center (GVAHEC) for just over a month, and it is incredibly gratifying to reflect on how much I have already accomplished.  I have taught four weeks of classes at the Maricopa Integrated Health Systems’ (MIHS) Family Learning Centers, helped implement a new program at GVAHEC that provides children with free meals, and also conducted data extraction and analysis for all individuals that came to GVAHEC within the last couple months.

The classes I have taught at MIHS clinics covered a range of public health and safety topics including Fire Safety, Firework Safety, Germs & Handwashing, and Bike Safety.  Next week I will be teaching a class on Sun Safety.  In addition to expanding my range of topics, I was given the responsibility to develop the curriculum and lesson plans for this next class on my own, from the ground up.  I am excited to see my hard work in action!  Most days, we have about 10 kids at each class, but every location is different, with different demographics and children of different ages.  Developing a curriculum for children aged 0-14 is difficult because of the large age range, but it has already been extremely rewarding.

On the campus of GVAHEC, we have begun working with Kids Cafe, a national movement to help give anyone under 18 free, healthy meals.  You can learn more about Kids Cafe here.  GVAHEC runs Kids Cafe on Tuesday and Thursday from 12:00-12:45, and on Wednesday nights from 5:30-6:15.  It is an amazing feeling to be able to hand a child a Kids Cafe package and to know that I am helping to feed a child that would otherwise go without a meal.  My fellow interns and I are leading this program.  In just a few weeks we have fed hundreds of children. Nothing has felt better than knowing I am improving the health of these kids.

A typical Kids Cafe meal. Last Wednesday, we gave out 75 meals in one night!

A typical Kids Cafe meal. Last Wednesday, we gave out 75 meals in one night!

My boss was out of town last week, so my fellow interns and I buckled down and did some intense paper work. When an individual comes into the center, they fill out a face sheet with demographic information and the resources they need.  We extracted this data into excel documents and analyzed the results.  This was a truly eye-opening experience.  For example, we discovered that in May 2014 only 3% of people that came through the center were ineligible for the Working Poor Tax Credit.  In other words, 97% of the people we help are living in poverty.  Crunching numbers and assessing data is vital to our work.  I personally learned about the full range of work and services we provide, and by assessing our efforts we yielded results that can now be used to receive more grant funding and to validate how much GVAHEC is doing.

I cannot choose just one thing I am proud of this summer.  Everything I am doing helped me confirm how much I truly want a future in Public Health, as well as how badly systemic changes are needed to improve the health of the individuals and communities we serve.  It is truly a great feeling to finally be comfortable in my work and to work alongside people who share my passion for service and change (and even to pig out sometimes with my fellow interns).  I also have the opportunity to meet regularly with my supervisor to discuss my work and expectations for the week ahead.  It is a little sad knowing I will be leaving GVAHEC in a few short weeks, but I am thrilled that I still have a lot to do before then!

One of my fellow interns, my supervisor and I collaborating (with snacks!)

One of my fellow interns, my supervisor and I collaborating (with snacks!)

 

 

Five weeks after I started working again at the McAllister Lab of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, I am already halfway done with my internship! Since I started, I have been very busy running all different types of experiments. Some tasks that I have been busy doing are immunohistochemistry, protocol optimization, and tissue culture. There have definitely been obstacles along the way, including faulty reagents and cell line contamination, but I have been trying pace myself and take it all with a grain of salt.

After the first week, I started feeling comfortable with working more independently in the lab. I was stressed during that first week, but once I figured out what I needed to do, it felt just like it did last summer when I was working without my mentor. In the past few weeks, I have been planning experiments with my given timetable, and it’s not as scary as I initially thought it would be. Unfortunately, even when I plan well in advance for some experiments, I have stopped by the lab during weekends because of time-sensitive protocols. (The cells don’t take a break!) I have also been receiving a lot of guidance along the way from two other post-doctoral researchers and the current lab manager in terms of guiding me through procedures, so I am extremely grateful for their assistance.

At this moment, I am most proud of my ability to plan out my days so that each are very productive. When I was a summer student here during previous years, there were some occasions where I would have down-time. This summer, I have much less down-time because I am so busy running experiments. I feel that every day that I am here, I am making very good use of my time. With regard to project progression, I generated some data that was inconsistent with previous results. In a mouse experiment with old and young mice bearing breast cancer tumors, I previously found differences in the presence of a certain type of protein. However, this time around, I found that there was no difference. The data was unexpected, but it is very important for us to consider when the paper for the Aging Project gets written. I have been learning new lab skills, such as working with dilutions and graphing tumor kinetics data on Excel. I previously haven’t had much experience with generating figures from a data set, so I am now glad that I am able to do so. I have also learned the importance of analyzing data blindly – that is, reviewing qualitative data as objectively as possible by hiding the different cohorts there are in an experiment. As a future scientist, it will be very important for me to keep this in mind; it is best to generate and review data in this fashion because bias can easily skew interpretation.

Finally, in addition to everything I have been learning and experiencing in the lab, I have been having a great experience outside of all the benchwork. I am definitely building stronger networks by talking more to my other labmates and getting a chance to talk to those who are in other labs. In fact, I had the fortune of having a great conversation with a Brandeis 2012 alum who worked in one of the neighboring labs; he left the state for medical school the week afterwards. And lastly, each year the McAllister Lab has annual social events with the Dr. Robert Weinberg Lab of MIT’s Whitehead Institute, Dr. McAllister’s post-doctoral research affiliation. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Weinberg himself at both the annual Weinberg Picnic and Weinberg Beach Day.

Dr. Sandra McAllister Lab at the annual Dr. Robert Weinberg Picnic

McLab Members at the annual Weinberg Beach Day at Wingaersheek Beach (Gloucester, MA). We named our new friend McCrab!

McLab Members at the annual Weinberg Beach Day at Wingaersheek Beach (Gloucester, MA). We named our new friend McCrab!

Irene Wong, ’17

 

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I had 3 learning goals that I wanted to achieve over the course of my internship. These goals are academic, career-oriented and personal. An academic goal I had for my summer internship was to become skilled in a variety of research and laboratory techniques. Since beginning my internship in the Janigro Laboratory I have had the opportunity to perform a variety of multidisciplinary techniques such as immunohistochemistry, western blotting, immunoprecipitation, and microscope use. I have practiced and honed these skills the past 2 months and now I can perform them unsupervised with great accuracy. I am not only learning lab techniques, but I am also delving deeper into the importance of these techniques for the characterization, diagnoses and prevention of neurological disorders. Careful observation of my mentors, as well as outside independent research, has given me a true understanding of the depth of this research.

A career goal I had for this summer was to further explore the world of laboratory-based research. It was my goal to experience the day-to-day responsibilities and expectations of a research scientist. I have truly been able to achieve this goal through close observation and reflection on my responsibilities of experiments, data analysis, scientific writing and data presentation that Dr. Janigro and my other mentors have taught me every day here in the lab. I have worked the same hours as many of the scientists in the lab, truly understanding every minute aspect that goes into a career as a laboratory scientist.

A personal goal I had for this summer experience was to become an important contributor in this special research team. Rather than being a passive onlooker, I truly have immersed myself in the research efforts of the laboratory. As an undergraduate with a passion for laboratory and investigative work, I am thrilled to have been able to contribute my thoughts, ideas and methods to the experiments the lab is conducting. I have contributed physical work as well as intellectual ideas to the paper we are writing about experiments throughout the summer. The culmination of what I have achieved this summer will be the opportunity to present at the Lerner Research Institute Undergraduate Research Symposium next week.

My fellow Interns Jesal, Aaron & Pete, plus Research Scholar Shota

My fellow interns: Jesal, Aaron & Pete, plus Research Scholar Shota

Overall, I am monitoring my growth through my ability to understand the work being done throughout the lab. The less I have to reference literature to figure out what my colleagues are talking about, the more I know that I am slowly understanding the laboratory’s goal. In addition, I know that I am growing in my research skills because I can perform many experiments from memory, without having to reference my past notes or instructions.

Right now, I am most proud of my contributions to the lab’s paper about its most recent findings. I am excited that I have jumped into the work they have been doing and contribute. It is a great honor that the lab has given me the opportunity to be a contributing author on an ongoing paper about chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Having a physical manifestation of my accomplishments this summer is a tremendous feeling.

I will transfer all of the skills I am learning this summer throughout every facet of my life. I have learned lab techniques, paper writing, networking, problem solving, and countless other invaluable practices I will keep with me. I will “bank” these learned skills and pull them out as needed in the future for academics, future careers and campus involvements.

Madeline Engler, ’16

 

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