Thursday, July 3, 2014

Blog Challenge #2 Cheyenne Simmons

Blog Challenge #2

        For this blog challenge we had to interview a graduate student. I was nervous about interviewing someone, with questions running through my head of “what if they find me annoying?”or “ maybe they don’t want to talk to me because I’m way younger than they are”. I put it off for so long until finally Kim was like Cheyenne who are you going to interview and I said I haven’t gotten that far yet. Then she took me around and I met a few people. At first I was going to interview this girl Chelsea but then Kim saw Brett and was said that he would be the perfect person to interview because we both have snarky personalities. I felt bad for him because I had a ton of questions and some of them he couldn’t answer because he doesn't have a SEED student. My questions that I asked him are as followed.

Graduate Questions for the Second Blog Challenge.
  1. How many colleges did you apply for before Duquesne?
  2. Why did you want to pursue a career in science?
  3. What’s your favorite part of the experiment you’re working on now?
  4. Do you plan to continue on in research or go into teaching after you finish schooling?
  5. What was you dream school?
  6. What are some of the goals you want to reach?
  7. Is it hard to balance life here and life at home?
  8. Do you ever get upset when your result don’t come out as planned?
  9. Whats an over view of your project?
  10. Whats the purpose or use for you project?
  11. Why were you interested in Duquesne?
  12. Does your experiment work?
  13. Who had the biggest influence on you to go to college?
  14. Do you enjoy coming here everyday?
  15. What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
  16. How much longer do you have left?
  17. If you could do anything different in school to lead up to this point what would it be? Why?
  18. Where are you from? What was it like?
  19. What do you have a degree in?
  20. Did you apply for a SEED student or did your mentor give you one?
  21. How did you find out about the summer research program?
  22. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  23. What was it like trying to find the right college for you?
  24. Did you always want to go into chemistry?
  25. Whats you favorite part of chemistry?
  26. Did you apply for scholarships in high school? If so how many? And if how many did you get?
  27. Whats college like?
  28. What high school did you go to?
  29. Do you like being in an experimental lab? Would you ever work computational?
  30. What was your first poster session like?
  31. What was writing your first paper like?
  32. Were you comfortable with you research when you first presented?
  33. How did you come up with the project for you SEED student?
  34. What is you SEED students project about?
  35. Is this your first year having a SEED student?
  36. Were you excited about having a SEED student?
  37. How many majors did you go through until you settled on one?
  38. How many different mentors did you have?
  39. How much did your tuition cost?
  40. Did you play any college or intramural sports?
  41. On average, how many hours did you spend a day studying?
  42. Is studying rigorously worthwhile?
  43. What made you want to go to grad school?
  44. Do you wish you went to parties more in college?
  45. Did anything from your childhood make you want to better your life?
  46. What grades did you get in school?
  47. Whats you next step in life?
  48. How old are you?
  49. What helps you when your stressed with your research?
  50. Do you ever wish you would have chosen a different career?
  51. Do you hate O. Chem. like everyone else?
  52. What Lab are you in?

Brett DeMarco Biography.

          Brett Demarco is a graduate student at Duquesne University who works in Dr. Rita Miharlescu lab. He is 23 and is from Mercer, Pa. He liked growing up in Amish country because he enjoyed seeing all of the horses in the fields. He attended Mercer High School, and his favorite class was chemistry. His grades were excellent, meaning all A's and B's. With those good grades you would think he would have applied for scholarships, but not Brett. His tuition is only $11,000 for grad school. When Brett was a child, he aspired to be the best Brett he could be and he also wanted to be a hero. His brother was his biggest influence to go to college, and he generally wanted to better his life.

        He didn’t have a dream school but applied to four different colleges before choosing Duquesne. He believes finding the college for you is important and to just go with the one that feels good to you, not just for the name. He has always liked science and wanted to pursue a career in chemistry, which led him to pursue a degree in it. He didn’t always want to go into chemistry, but he likes the logic of how it all fits together and makes everything coherent. He chose Duquesne because of the structure. They focus more on the actual research than on the class work. He didn’t play any college or intramural sports so he had more time to study. He studied rigorously anywhere between one to three hours a day. He believes that there are two different types of students who attend college: the ones who lock themselves away and study and go to class and enjoy being submerged in academia, and the ones who skip class and party because there’s no one watching their back and telling them what to do. Brett considers a balance of the two to be liberating. He doesn't think partying in school is worth it. If given the chance to do it all over, he would major in math, biology, and physics. He also would have taken more majors as an undergrad, as well.

         Brett enjoys coming here everyday. He found out about the summer research program when he applied for the graduate student position. He is currently is teaching both basic college level and honors organic chemistry. Balancing home and research was a little bit overwhelming for him at times, but he adapted quickly. He has worked computationally for a while but then decided to try to get into a wet lab. An over view of his project is the characterization of the secondary structure of DNA on the BDNF gene to determine whether a geocentric structure is forming and doing the bio-physical characterization of said structure. The purpose and or use for it is once the structure is characterized to target it with drugs, so that you can manipulate the structure in the cell to regulate production of the BDNF protein. His favorite part of his experiment is the way the logic comes together to determine the structure. He's never gotten nervous before presenting a poster or giving a talk because no one knows more about his project than him. “What about the first paper you wrote?” I asked. He said, “your first paper isn’t nothing to stress over, all you do is write a draft then send it to your mentor (He has had five different mentors.) and it comes back covered in red pen and a whole new paper.” His tips for helping with research stress were to take a walk, read, and sleep. I personally like the last one the most.

         Upon finishing school he could either see himself going into teaching eventually, but research first. He hopes to graduate here in four to five years with his doctorate. His plans for the next ten years include finishing schooling then doing something for the rest of his life that involves a lab and research. For him, moving to find a job isn’t an issue. What ever the best position is, whether its teaching or its in the industry, he'll cross that bridge when he comes to it. Brett wants to make an impact on his community that will be remembered for years to come.

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