Tell us a little about yourself and your research project.
I am a senior majoring in Health Systems Management with a minor in Biology and Chemistry. I have been researching with Dr. Richardson to study the role of HOXC6 in survival and proliferation of ovarian epithelial cells.
How did you first find out about undergraduate research opportunities at UNC Charlotte?
I have always known about undergraduate research opportunities because of friends involved with research. I started seeking undergraduate research opportunities during my junior year of college. As I was exploring different research mentors and their work at UNCC, I came across the OUR Research Scholars program. I decided to take a chance and apply for research through that program.
How has your research experience prepared you for your next goals or career?
Researching has taught me valuable lab skills as well as given me insight into the career path I want to take. I have learned about the difference between a career in the industry versus the academic setting through Dr. Richardson. Additionally, research has enhanced my technical and professional skills which will allow me to further my career.
What advice would you give students who are interested in pursuing undergraduate research and what would you say to a student who says, “research is not for me”?
I would advise students interested in research to start as early as possible. Through the university website, you can find professors and their fields of research. Make a list of professors and projects that you find interesting then reach out to them. If you are not sure where to start, the university has a research department that can help! For students who say, “research is not for me”, trust me I used to say the same thing until I started. Research at first can be intimidating, however, the skills you learn can be applied to various careers. The key is to find a project that interests you and can enjoy working on it with that faculty member.
What is one thing that you learned about yourself from this research experience?
Among the many things research has taught me I think the main lesson I have learned through research is that you cannot let fear prevent you from gaining new experiences. Furthermore, research has really showed me discipline in overcoming failures and setbacks. Research is a slow process of trial and error where troubleshooting skills become paramount. All the experiments do not always go as planned therefore making it important to never give up!