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Scholar Highlights for Week Ending May 11, 2012

May 14, 2012

Kamille:

“Like last week, I am spending my last month in London preparing for my exams and finishing up assignments for my other classes. Without classes and lectures to go to, I have more free time to study and relax. I also have less obligations to fulfill assignments for classes. It is weird that two of my classes grades are determined by my score on the final exam. It is crucial that I do exceptionally well on the finals to ensure that I get a A in all of my classes. Having straight A’s will show that one can adjust to any education system across the world and conquer.

We as African American women need to branch out from our school to explore the world. If we are scared that we will fail then we wont achieve the full potential that we are capable of. I know that I was terrified in the thought that I was actually leaving to spend a semester away from my family, in a totally new country by myself. But after a couple of weeks of exploring and meeting new people, I am truly glad that I conquered my fear and studied abroad. Now I want to travel to Asia and the other continents before life speeds by.

With research, everything has wind down. I met with the primary investigator of the lab, Dr. Marina Resmini, to finalize what I will be doing before I leave. She wants me to end physical research next week to start preparing for travels to America. She also wanted me to start my draft for the lab report for the fellowship. So next week I will either finish another compound or take the loss with a failed experiment. It is life of a scientist. Your failures help you learn what needs to be done to achieve your final results.

Welp that’s all for now. TTYL!”

Shekiaya:

“As a result of research, I have a number of questions I am curious to know the answer to. However, they are more sociological in nature. While reflecting on the experience, I became interested in how undergraduate research contributes to a student’s likelihood to pursue a graduate education. For me, it has challenged me in a way that gave me an idea of what I should expect from graduate school, no matter the subject. The course was literally a headfirst dive into writing in mathematics, and I was not prepared for it. However, as a result, I am more confident in my ability to write for mathematical purposes. I am, by no stretch of the imagination, proficient enough for, say, publishing. But I can say, as a result of this experience, the thought of having to write for mathematical purposes is no longer daunting. And hence, I am significantly less “afraid” or “nervous” about pursuing a master’s degree or PhD. That said I believe I will pursue a master’s degree in industrial engineering degree upon graduation. Some require an undergraduate degree in engineering, but most require a related degree (like mathematics!). This is obviously a decision I have made much later than most, but I would like to think this decision is “right on time”.”

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