Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Last night I presented the work that I have been doing for the past two summers at the convention center in Denver, Colorado. I was so nervous about presenting that I stayed up the night before going to Colorado and thought about the presentations. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to present it at such a big convention, and was terrified of what the outcome might be- Would I be able to explain my work properly? What kind of questions will I be asked? How many people are going to come to my poster? What if I don’t have anyone come to my poster?!-Questions like that kept me from sleeping an entire night, but when the big day came I was no longer nervous. I knew I was ready, and as the time grew closer to presenting I became very excited about showing everyone that I could the work that I had done. After setting up my poster I waited to meet the other Project SEED students. I wanted to hear about how they became involved in Project SEED, what the experience has been like for them, and just get to know them. After meeting the other Project SEED students I realized that our experiences were very similar, and found myself relating to them easily. Then the time came to put on my heels and try to grab as many people as I could, which was not very difficult because my posters was in the very front.
After a few moments the doors opened, and tons of people flooded in. I was shocked, and excited, and then I became scared. I wasn’t scared of presenting anymore, I was scared that I was not going to get any traffic. In an instant Marissa had somebody at her poster, and they just kept coming, I guess coordination polymers are very exciting right now. At that moment I thought back on when Dr. Wheeler had shared with us that there was a competition for the most unique and interesting title in the talks he had went to. One of the titles was ‘Pop and Lock’...I really wished that I had an eye catching title like that at my poster, but I did not have to wait very long, suddenly I had many people coming to my poster. As the night went on and I presented to more and more people I became more and more confident. I became so confident after George Richter-ADDO, the professor and Chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma asked me if I would like to work for him. He told me about the research that he had worked on and gave me his card so I can get in touch with him later. He also told me that he had worked with Dr. Wheeler before Dr. Wheeler came to Duquesne, and I was just so happy that he enjoyed my presentation and that I was offered a chance to work for him. My confidence went through the roof after that. I wished I would have kept count of all the people that came to my poster, but to be honest there were just too many. If I had to guess I would say I presented to at least twenty people. After the convention ended I both exhausted and restless(not to mention I could barely walk). I would love to do another convention, it was just so exciting, and I shocked so many people when they found out that I was a high school student. I am so proud of myself, and so grateful for this experience, I really can not wait to show my family. I just want to bring my poster everywhere and present it to everyone!
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
This blog post is a little overdue and I have a lot to cover so lets begin.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Yeah I wish. Last Friday was the main event for the year, the big shebang. Our research symposium was a huge success. There was a few keynote speakers to lead off the event, people had to give their dissertations. You could tell that they were good by the fact that I saw no one sleeping. I mean, it was 9:30 and it was a room full of college students. After that came the best part of the day....I mean lunch. This was when we got to socialize with even more SEED students, these ones hailing from WVU. It was good to talk to them and learn about their projects. I was so happy that it pretty much negated my anger from my ice cream prematurely melting. Almost.....I was really looking forward to that.
Anyways, after lunch came the poster session. It was pretty amazing to see the varying kind of research that had been done. It went from analyzing characters in Russian fairytales to molecular dynamic simulations of the norepinephrine and serotonin transporters in a lipid bilayer membrane. Can you guess which one I understood?
Once it was my turn to present my poster my nerves were at an all time high. With my luck I'd get Stephen Hawking asking me to explain my poster. However, once my first visitors came, I found that I was readily prepared and even managed to slip in a smooth wink.
After the session was over, I realized that this might be the last time I get to see my group, so we didn't pass up the oppurtunity for some amazing photo ops.
After the dust settled from the symposium, we had the Project SEED alumni lunch. I was very anxious to meet some of my predesscesors. I thought they were going to be very stuck up and judgemental. I also thought the Steelers were going to win the Superbowl. Turns out I was wrong on both counts! Everyone was extremely friendly, and very eager to share their experiences and wisdom with us. There were even a few fellow Sto-Rox students who were in college. It is nice to be reminded evry now and then that you shouldn't let where you come from hinder you. Tim McFadden is just starting his PH.D program, and Chris Siden is in his third year of Duquesne's pharmacy program. If they could go on to do great things like that, who's to say I can't?
So that's about it, the last few days in a nutshell. SEED is almost over now and it is weird to think that I'll actually be able to sleep in soon. That is until school starts, at least.
I have to present again on Thursday, but I haven't had time to gather more results since I've been away at band camp. Last week was really crazy I heard though. But my days pretty much consisted of meals and practicing. Then on Friday I came back for the symposium. We sat in on some speakers, some of them we're really interesting. There was one girl who's project was about pandemics. She was trying to see if there was a way to predict the rise of diseases by looking at the thermometer sales, doctor visits and medicine sales. When I was talking to her about it afterwards though she said it was hard to make models to predict future pandemics when the models for the past weren't informative and it was hard to know how accurate the information was.
There was another person who did a project on the the pressure that's put on bovine heart valves when they're pregnant. The valves in the heart realign themselves while the cow is pregnant in order to compensate for all the pressure and blood.
I feel like this year at SEED I did a lot better at the symposium. More people came to my poster and while I explained it to them, I feel like the language was more fluent.
After my hour was over I walked around to look at the other posters. I talked to the girl who did the pandemic project and then to a few posters that were about physics. There was one grad student from Pitt that was trying to finish filling in the Standard Model of Elementary Particles, specifically with Quarks. Physics is something that I've been thinking about majoring in and it seems like a good choice based on what she said. It's a major where women are a minority...so I hope that means I'll have good opportunities in it.