I began this program with goals of growth, and I have grown more than I could have imagined. When the pandemic started, I initially struggled with my curiosity in virtual lectures. Being in the lab, however, has helped me find my curiosity and passion again. From nervously awaiting experimental results to asking any question that I had, this summer let my passion shine through. While being sick close to the end of the program was a challenge for me, I still made a poster I was proud of, and I loved presenting to everyone. Despite past uncertainties about my career goals, I realized that I want to do science and am grateful that I found the career that excites me.

Beyond professional growth, I’ve also found time to grow personally. Specifically, I’ve grown in my confidence, which was another one of my goals at the beginning of the summer. While my confidence in my academic ability has improved, so has my personal confidence. Additionally, one of the most valuable aspects of this summer was working with Dr. Sherwood. Her kindness allowed me to be myself in the lab, so I could ask any question I had in a comfortable space. Dr. Sherwood and I were able to develop a great relationship, and her lab feels like home. I can’t imagine a more supportive PI or a more positive lab environment, which is one reason I plan to continue working with Dr. Sherwood in the fall. This summer has been amazing, and I’m so excited for my future!

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