Yesterday was the first ever Project SEED celebration day. It was a gathering of current Project SEED members, mentors, alumni of the Project SEED program, faculty members, and donors. This also marks the first time that I ever presented to a large group of people with high stature, so I was very nervous. That being said I think I did okay. If given the chance to present again I would explain my procedures and data more clearly. Also, I would have talked to more people individually during lunch.
I did get a chance to talk to Tim McFadden, Kathy Fleming, Lauren from Bayer, a woman that networked, and the dean. Getting the chance to talk to Tim McFadden was great, because he did the same thing as me in SEED. I mainly talked to him about college. He told me that it is really fun, but you have to be able to balance yourself out between studying and everything else. He also told me about some of his friends that majored in nuclear engineering, which I thought was intriguing. Kathy Fleming actually came to me and said that her favorite part of my presentation was that I said "Although this isn't the best representation of a gel it was still a great learning experience". She said it was because in life sometimes things don't work out, but you still have to manage. Lauren, the lady that took our pictures, was wondering how I got to Duquesne everyday and if I thought transportation would be a reason not to do SEED. I told her I took the bus everyday and it shouldn't be an issue because Dr. Aitken would help them. The woman that networked told me about networking and how important it is. She also told me to be calm and relax before I presented. The dean was curious about how long our experiments took, which I told him each one takes a few days and we are currently working on a methyl viologen assay. He was amazed at the work that we all do.
All in all the event was a great learning experience. I learned how great geology is and how to network. I learned that I need to be more confident in my abilities and less nervous. I got to hear from the alumni how the Project SEED program affected them. I learned truly how everyone cares about us and wants to see us succeed, which could just be seen in Larry's presentation.