Representing one of the most interesting and challenging episodes in my undergraduate years, the 2011 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) was held from March 31-April 2 at Ithaca College, NY.
For over a year I’ve worked at the ARUP Labs on the University of Utah’s campus under the direction of Dr. Marzia Pasquali. In that time I’ve labored to develop second tier tests for two metabolic disorders: homocystinuria and SCAD deficiency. Dr. Pasquali has on numerous occasions gone far and beyond her role as adviser and helped me put together my research project. For this and previous conferences, especially as it comes to my research poster, she should be credited with the fantastic final product. I am very grateful to her for all she’s done to make my research experience successful and interesting.
To present this research at a national forum was, at times, electrifying. It was awe inspiring to see the opportunities “mere” undergraduate students have in this day and age when it comes to participating in serious, real research.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my trip was the friendships I made with students from all across the nation. Thanks in large part to a Cell Biology test which was to happen just a day or so after I returned to Salt Lake, I spent most of my nights studying in the hotel lobby. Three friendships, in particular, were forged there that I’m confident will continue on into our professional lives. I’m grateful for the chance I had to meet such driven and successful students.
The experience was truly a gem in the course of my undergraduate studies. I’m thankful to Jill Baeder and the UROP program of the University of Utah for providing this experience. I’m especially thankful to Jill for her tireless devotion to making opportunities happen for students like me.