Athens, OH 22 October 2012 – Last year I decided to pursue undergraduate research opportunities to help me narrow down what I want to one day do in my career. Many students look for co-ops and internships in order to gain relevant experience before graduation, but undergraduate research is also an excellent way to gain experience during the school year. At Ohio University and the Russ College, many professors are willing to employ undergraduate students in their labs. I am lucky to have had the chance to work in two very different labs, each with their own unique
During my sophomore year I held a position in Dr. Monica Burdick’s biomolecular engineering lab, which is located in the Academic and Research Center (ARC). Her research includes the adhesion of tumor cells and metastasis of cancer. I worked in Dr. Burdick’s lab for my entire sophomore year, and at the end I presented my research at the university-wide Research and Creativity Expo. This year, I switched labs and am currently working in the Sustainable Energy and Advanced Materials (SEAM) lab with Dr. KB Lee. His research is focused on polymers and alternative energy.
Through these lab positions, I have the chance to apply the science and engineering principles from my classes, which helps me to better understand what I am being taught. I have learned how to use a diverse range of machinery and equipment. Also, I have met many graduate students, and they are all very willing to help the undergraduates and answer any questions, whether they are about the lab or just school in general.
Research may not be the right fit for everyone, but I really enjoy it. I like learning outside of the traditional classroom setting.