Friday, July 19, 2013

Yick Chong Lam, Chemistry, pursuing PhD in Chemistry at Yale University

Yick Chong Lam graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry. He has accepted an admissions offer from Yale University to pursue a PhD Degree in Chemistry. During the summer, he will be a research assistant at the Yale University Energy Sciences Institute.

"During freshman honors organic chemistry, I became interested in designing molecules with therapeutic properties," he says.

"I pursued this interest through independent research and summer research experiences in the laboratory of Dr. Rudi Fasan in the Chemistry Department at the University of Rochester. My experiences have helped me to decide to continue my studies towards a career in research.

"My one piece of advice: Always pursue your interests and keep learning in any and every environment. Do not hesitate to ask professors for research opportunities or even to ask questions during class," he says.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Josey Topolski, '14, Chemistry, Working with the Eisenberg Group on campus this summer

Josey Topolski,  '14, Chemistry, is spending her summer working for the Eisenberg Group on the University of Rochester River Campus.

"I am studying the water splitting reaction," she says. "Specifically I am developing cobalt catalysts for the reaction. By studying this reaction we are getting closer to solving our dependence on fossil fuels."

 Her advice to her peers? "Study something you love; when you do you will never dread going to work."

Kelly Mulrey accepted into her top choice, University of Rochester School of Nursing

Kelly Mulrey,  Biology, has been accepted in to her top choice of graduate schools, the University of Rochester School of Nursing one-year accelerated BSN program.
"Working with the career center to maintain and update my resume really helped," Kelly says, "As did speaking with current students in the program I was interested in."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cameron LaPoint, Economics, History & Mathematics, Fulbright Fellow in Kyoto, Japan

Cameron LaPoint, a triple major in economics, history, and mathematics, graduated in May of 2013 with his bachelor's degree. Starting in September 2013, he will relocate to Kyoto, Japan for ten months as a Fulbright Fellow. While in Japan, LaPoint will combine continued Japanese language study with a survey experiment conducted under the sponsorship of the Kyoto University Graduate School of Economics. LaPoint's research project will focus on the differences in attitudes towards risk and savings between Japanese and Americans. He will continue his work on modeling individual risk preferences as a PhD student in economics starting in Fall 2014.
LaPoint credits his successful Fulbright and graduate school applications to his time at University of Rochester's Journal of Undergraduate Research, where he served for two years as an editor-in-chief. "Having the opportunity to review original student research supervised at universities across the country really gave me a new perspective on what kinds of issues and problems go into making impactful contributions within my own academic discipline," LaPoint says. 

He recommends future seniors who are considering applying for competitive national fellowships, such as Fulbright, to start thinking about their application proposals early and to work closely with the Fellowships Office and Career Center during the summer before their senior year to improve their resumes. Additionally, citing his experiences as a triple major, LaPoint said he would encourage current students to take classes in a broad range of departments at Rochester before graduation, as research is becoming more interdisciplinary and globalized. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Jake Miller, '13, Youth Outreach Coordinator at UPMC/Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Division of Adolescent Medicine

I have accepted a position with the Pittsburgh Health Corps, an AmeriCorps program that focuses on helping the underserved in your city deal with and overcome barriers of access to care. I will be working at UPMC/Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Division of Adolescent Medicine as the Youth Outreach Coordinator. 

My two main roles are to ensure that youth who are in housing crisis, or homeless, have a place to go to get healthcare as well as make their care easily accessible, and to work with Children's Hospital and a group of young advocates to educate providers and equip everyone involved to seamlessly transition the young adult's medical treatment from pediatrics to adult care. 

Before that starts, I'm working on public health research on domestic violence and reproductive/sexual coercion and volunteering at Salud Para NiƱos, the only bilingual pediatric clinic in the city!

Steps to success: Be persistent, know what you want to get out of your experiences, and be flexible. The loss of CDC funding caused my job to be no longer available, and after realizing my own goals and what the AmeriCorps program offers, I understood there was no better way to spend my year after college than by doing service work in something that I am truly passionate about- public health. 

Don't hesitate to use the Career Center to help with personal statements, resumes, and honing in your interview skills! Thanks to Kellie Hernandez, who helped me through the application process.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Michael Dupuis, '16, Optical Engineering Intern for the Schepens Eye Research Institute and Harvard Medical School

I am an optical engineering intern for The Schepens Eye Research Institute and Harvard Medical School within the Dr. Peli laboratory. I work on several projects that are designed to help people with low vision. As part of a project team, I design prism lens systems to aid patients with hemianopia (loss of a portion of the visual field due to stroke or traumatic brain injury). I also conduct work that helps assist and train low vision patients to drive better via our driving simulator. In addition, I work with lab members, designing low vision applications for Google Glass.

To find an internship in optical research, the most important step was sending out countless emails. I contacted more than a dozen researchers around Boston who worked in a relevant field—and I received only a few return emails. However, with the people who did take the time to return my interest I was quite persistent and expressed a strong interest. In the end, that persistence paid off.

Joe Bailey, '15, Chem, Recommends Applying Early for Reach Funding

I've successfully secured a position as an undergraduate researcher in the Neidig lab this summer, here in the University of Rochester's REU program in chemistry. This research experience for undergraduates has opened many doors for me, to work in academic and industrial laboratory settings in the future. 

I've really got my foot in the door here in the chemistry department, and will stick around in the same lab for my senior research. A hint for any aspiring chemists or other scientists: Here at Rochester, the REACH program allows an enterprising young student to "double dip" on funding, by accepting the free housing option, and doing an unpaid REU, then applying ASAP for the supplemental funding from the career center. This way, as long as you can find a home in a lab on campus, you'll be able to live comfortably for the summer. Most students are unaware of the way the program operates, and can't work the system to their advantage. 
I cannot stress this enough: REACH funds are available on a first come, first served basis, so apply early!

Kate Bredbenner, BS in Molecular Genetics, BA in Philosophy, pursuing PhD in NYC

Kate Bredbenner graduated with a BS in Molecular Genetics and a BA in Philosophy. She decided to go into genetics research and will be working towards her PhD at Rockefeller University in New York City. 

I have some advice to give about applying to anything. Whether it is a PhD program or a summer internship, don't be afraid to send an email. The worst thing that can happen is that the professor you emailed doesn't get back to you, but most likely they will respond and like your initiative.

Another hint is to never sell yourself short. In any essay you have to write, be honest, but be honest in the best way. You know how grandmothers think that everything you do is so impressive and they tell all their friends? Write your essays from the point of view of your grandmother. You are a big deal and your accomplishments are real. 

Finally, don't forget to ask for help. Ask your friends or your advisor or anyone whose opinion you trust to read your essays or give you interview advice. Do remember that even though you trust the people who are giving you advice, you should always be yourself. You want to make sure that wherever you end up is a place that picked you for who you are, otherwise you might not be happy.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hillary Figler, '14, Working With New Cancer Technology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Hillary Figler, '14, Biological Science/Microbiology, is interning at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY this summer. Her 10 week research program in the Department of Flow and Image Cytometry ( includes weekly seminars, field trips and peer mentorships with medical students.

"I am working on my own project titled 'Image Cytometry-Based Detection of Aneuploidy by Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization in Suspension' in which I take white blood cells from blood samples and hybridize flourescent probes to the cells. Using a machine called the ImageStream (it uses lasers and cameras to excite the probes and take pictures) you can see the individual cells from the sample and the probes are visible as colors. With this technology you can identify an abnormal number or translocation in the chromosomes from cancer such as acute myleoid lymphoma. At the end of the program I give a 10 minute presentation on my research findings and present a poster."
As part of her internship, Figler and her fellow interns have also visited some life science companies, Fresenius Kabi and Zeptometrix. She offers the following advice for peers hoping to find an internship:
"Apply to as many internships as possible. Follow up with the locations you apply to, and if possible meet with someone. I arranged a meeting at Roswell with the Department of Flow and Image Cytometry and that's the main reason I got the internship. Its so important. Make sure you utilize all the resources available," she says.

Stephanie Swartz, Accepted into PhD Program in Electrical Engineering/Optics at University of Colorado at Boulder

Stephanie Swartz graduated with a B.S. in physics and minors in optics and math, and she is excited to begin the PhD program in electrical engineering/optics at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  

As an undergraduate, I completed three Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU's), which are ~10 week paid research internships sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Additionally, I did research on campus since I was a sophomore and this evolved into my senior thesis project.

I have two pieces of advice:

1.   Start early and don't be afraid to apply -- Rochester makes it easy to begin research as a freshman and there are REU programs or internships that allow freshman applicants. Look up internships during winter break and apply to as many as you can; the worst that can happen is you will be rejected.

2.   Have a professional looking resume or CV -- The Career Center was enormously helpful during the application process for internships and graduate school. As a freshman, after only one meeting and a short email exchange, I left the Career Center with an accurate and polished resume. They also helped me reformat my resume into a CV for graduate school and read over my personal statements.

  Read more 2013 Senior Success stories here.