Friday, July 24, 2009

Symposium Poster=Insane!

This symposium poster has given me quite a headache this week. I really want it to be exceptional. It's a little hard not having my professor here to help me, but fortunately I do have Darlene. I'm pretty nervous for this symposium. I know I should do some extra research in order to prepare myself for questions that are bound to come next Friday. I'm also excited because i've never done anything like this before and it sure is going to be a new experience. After today, only 3 weeks left of SEED. Where has the summer gone?!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Former SEED Members...

Interviews with former SEED students...

Tristan Stagger-

Q:What high school did you attend?
A: Central Cathloic

Q:What made you apply to Project SEED?
A:My chemistry teacher saw potential in me, I was finacially disable to do most of what I wanted, and the thought of actually working with chemicals and beakers sounded really interesting.

Q:How have you used your SEED experience to your advantage?
A:It gave me the opportunity to work in the lab, and it gave me the amazing opportunity to take my basic chemistry knowledge to a college level.

Q:How has SEED helped you in other skills not chemistry related?
A:SEED showed me better ways to be more organized and it basically taught me how to present on a more professional level.

Q:If you could change one thing in your past, as far as high school and Project SEED, would you?
A:No, I don't live in regret because if I lived with regrets I wouldn't be living.

Q:If you could give any advice to the SEED members today what advice would you give them?
A:Tell you friends!!! It's a great opportunity and I think everyone should take advantage of it & never forget where you came from.

Tristan Stagger: "I would like to send my greatest thank you to Dr. Jennifer Aitken and Johnathan Lekse"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Presenting To The Group...

Today, I presented my powerpoint to the whole group! I was so nervous about not having it done, or not knowing what to say. After it was over with, I felt so confident about my work. I got through it and didn't stumble on many things. Unbelievable. It made me feel good that I know why I'm doing this project. About a week ago I was ready to quit. I was so tired, frustrated, and stressed out. I couldn't take it anymore. My whole family kept telling me, "It's okay if you quit. If it's too hard, you don't have to do it if you don't want to." I knew I wanted to do it. This is something I've kept my eye on since freshman year. I know it's something that's going to change my future for the better, which is why I decided to stick with it. Posters for the symposium have to be done by Friday. What am I going to do?? That's three days to construct a poster. And I thought I was stressed last week?! 3 weeks, 3 days left of SEED. Wow, summer's almost over.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Challenge #2: Interviews

So, I decided to take on another challenge. I interviewed Dr. H.M. “Skip” Kingston and Dr. Mitch Johnson.

Dr. Kingston grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He went to a high school called Central Dolphin, in the suburbs of Harrisburg. He said that high school was very difficult because in 11th grade, he was diagnosed with acute dyslexia. He told me that he always knew he wanted to go in to the chemistry field, but he said his first professor was a great influence on his career. After he took analytical chemistry, when going for his bachelor’s degree, he fell in love with the subject. Dr. Kingston said that undergrad school was fun, and challenging. He went to the military, Harrisburg Community College, Millersville, and attended IUP to be his grandmother’s nurse while finishing his master’s and bachelor’s. He said that grad school was even better, and he mentioned that he was a dual major. He earned 2 PhDs, in Analytical and Biological Chemistry and Environmental Science and Management. He believes that he succeeded purely because he loves what he does. His wife diagnosed him with ‘terminal curiosity.’ He said that a successful scientist is willing to put in hard work, must have discipline, and the desire to seek answers. When I asked him about regrets, he told me he regretted something that wasn’t really under his control. He said he regretted not being diagnosed with dyslexia sooner, because he thinks that it would’ve helped him in high school. He told me that he needed to know why he was different, and being diagnosed helped him cope. He said that his biggest accomplishment was getting the Radon Laws to be passed. He worked on it for 18 months before they were passed by Congress. Apparently, they save 45,000 people from bronchial cancer every year. Finally, I asked him what his biggest personal reward he got out of his career and he said, “Watching my students succeed.”

Dr. Johnson was raised in Racing, Wisconsin. He attended Racing Lutheran High School. He said that high school was alright and that he had some decent teachers. Dr. Johnson told me that he went to school for architectural drafting, but it wasn’t what he was expecting, so he changed his major to something he had more of a knack for. Undergrad school, he said, was fun, considering he went to the University of Miami. He told me that grad school was purely chemistry and close related things. He said that he made a bunch of close friends, and that everything got harder as he moved on. I asked him about success and he said, “It depends on what you mean by success. Money doesn’t always mean you’re successful.” He thinks he succeeded because he is willing to do the hard work. He believes that a career should be something you stick with, something you’re going to do for your life, not just something to do for money. “You have to ask yourself, are you truly happy doing this?” I asked Dr. Johnson what his biggest regret, and he told me, “No regrets. None at all. You make your choices and you have to live with them.” When I asked Mitch what his biggest accomplishment, it tied in with his biggest personal goal. He said that when he mentors grad students, and watches them grow as they learn, it’s very satisfying. “It’s nice to see the difference that you’ve made in these kids.”

When interviewing these professors, they both said success results from some related things; hard work, discipline, passion, commitment, dedication, and a good work ethic. It’s so cliché, but it’s something that I will take with me for the rest of my life. They also had some of the same personal satisfactions. They both said that they love to watch their students succeed. I think that is a great quality for a professor, or any teacher for that matter, to have. Knowing a teacher cares about you and your future is an incredible thought. Duquesne is pretty amazing, and their professors are too.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

~Fab in the Lab~

As we SEED students blog about the many great opportunities and things we experience everyday, it still may be slightly difficult for you to really envision what we do. What better way for you to see what we do than a picture...? After all a picture is worth a THOUSAND WORDS!!!

Amanda R. Anderson doing what she does best working hard...or hardly working!

Candice L. Thornton paying CLOSE attention to what she is doing...!

Tristan Freeman master of the pipette!


Why do the camera people have to have such bad timing?... They always come on one of the rare times that I am not doing anything. Like when I am waiting on a reaction or running a column. It is ridiculous. All this practice, I think I might become a underwear model... On another note, all I need are pictures for my powerpoint and it will be ready to be presented twice, because my mentor volunteered me to present it at our group meeting... woopty doo.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My First presentation for Project SEED

My first time presenting for Project SEED wasn't that bad. I was extremely nervous at first. Knowing that I was presenting my new found knowledge of my project in front of my fellow SEED students and professors, made me even more nervous. Looking through my presentation, I saw that I have already learned and done so much and made a big accomplishment. At the end of our group meeting, I think that Terrance, Becky and myself did very well on our presentations. Good job to Terrance and Becky for doing great presentations!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Next Blog Contest

To keep the blog moving and full of quality content, periodically we are going to have small blog challenges for rewards. Our first challenge was to determine which SEED student would be the first to post pictures of their labs. Amanda won and received some sweet Duquesne University swag.

The next challenge is a little more difficult, so the reward will be a little better. The first student to interview two professors and post a summary of their responses will win. Dr. Aiken cannot be one of the professors. Your objective is to determine the path they took to get to a professorship at Duquesne. Include their whole story. Ask them about their high school experience, undergrad, and grad school. Ask them why they succeeded as a professional scientist, while others do not. Ask them what their biggest regret is. Ask them what their biggest accomplishment is. You get the idea. Be thorough and creative with your questioning. The best interview wins if more than one of you participates.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Pet Cells!!

I finally got my pet cells!! As Mr. Lucas likes to call them and they're pretty sweet. Yesterday, I had to plate my cells. That means that I took one dish of BT 474 cells which are human cells and one dish of MMC cells which are mice cells and I seperated them into eight 35mm dishes. Today, I took all 16 of the 35mm dishes and I treated 14 with a different compound. The 2 that I had left over received no treatment. I also ran a protein assay on the cells today which unfortunately didn't turn out so great. I'm going to have to run the Protein assay again next week. So far, i'm having a great time and i'm learning so much!

Great job Candy and Mr. Lucas!

The other day two of the project seed students had to present what they are doing this summer in a project seed meeting. Almost every week some of us will have to do a small powerpoint presentation on thier respective project. Mr. Lucas did a great job on his and really explained to us the point of his project in a way we could understand even though we don't. But I was really impressed by Candy's performance. Espeacially doing it on short notice and only having a week to get familiar with her subject. I don't know if I could do it but she pulled it off great and I'm real proud of her. Now the rest of us have raise the bar higher to compete with her.


Dr. Aitken Learns how to Blog

So, I am going to learn how to Blog this summer! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Online Calendar

Hey gang, here is a link to our online calender. You can use your login and password for the blog to view and edit it. Please check it frequently for changes.