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Scholar Highlights For Week Ending June 28, 2013

October 1, 2013
C Amie1


Charmiah Amie

The idea that Germany is best is also a common notion that I have been receiving a lot lately. Not only directed towards me but also to other foreign people. I’m often asked, “So why wouldn’t you/don’t you want to live here again”, “Why do you want to go back to America?”, or just a simple “So when are you moving here?” If I tell them that I haven’t considered it or that I plan to live in America for now they often ask why with a confused face! 

Kevona Belcher

This week I was focused completely on my research. Many days I spent about nine to eleven hours in the laboratory. Research was a great focus for me this week because I really started to understand the analytical machinery in our laboratories. The lab has many expensive machines in it and the use of these machines is extremely complicated.

Kierra Brown

On Friday we embarked on a Peninsula tour around the oceanfront properties in Cape Town and the western tip of Africa. The extreme divide between the haves and the have not’s can be seen in this area. There were hundreds of homes and apartments on the coast worth millions of rand. Only five miles inland there are neighborhoods flooded with people that live in shacks. While both parties have pride in their homes the distribution in wealth is too skew. The cause for this skewed distribution of wealth can be attributed to the years that apartheid laws socially, economically, and racially oppressed nonwhite Afrikaans citizens.

Niwa Coleman



Today was one of the best days I have had at Capetown. This morning I began my day by attending a South African church. One of my local friends invited me to her church, and to my surprise it was very similar to what I experience back at home. It was shocking to see that the musicians were playing the same songs my church plays right at home.   Everyone in the congregation was extremely friendly and excited to meet myself and my friends. A matter of fact, after the service some of the members of the congregation invited my friend and I to their home for lunch and bible study.

Jasmeka Colvin

This week was so amazing but it went by so fast it’s such a blur! From Friday to Sunday I spent time in Barcelona with a fellow Spelmanite and it was awesome! Because she lives in Madrid I also got to stay there for a few hours. Experiencing a foreign country with someone is definitely more amazing then doing it alone. We talked and talked about our individual experiences and they were so parallel to one another.

Rachel Delsarte

Rachel looking out window


By the end of our first week in the heart of London, we have all become pretty accustomed to getting around the city and accessing different resources that are at our reach. When I first arrived here, I did not know that we would have to buy our own groceries and provide our own transportation. I was sort of in shock because up until this point, my parents did most of the grocery shopping and this would be my first experience buying all the groceries I need, while also making sure that I stay inside a budget. I never realized how much money is needed to survive daily until I had to spend a lot of my own here. Taking the Tube is the most convenient form of transportation that is available to us. It is a relatively simple form of transportation and resembles any other subway station in the US. Although it is convenient, it can be expensive!

Kameron Duncan

My current struggles are governed around sleep and timing. After work I am extremely exhausted and take long naps at times. Since my US residence operates eight hours behind London, it is taking awhile to get comfortable with the schedule. Another struggle is finding a way to blend in with the London crowd. Somehow I have been easily identified as a tourist and even an American. Some say it is because of the American mannerisms such as: eating while walking, walking swiftly, speaking proper or wearing tennis shoes during work hours. Prior to visiting the London, my perception was that I would not feel up to date. My experience has been the complete opposite, however. Many people walk everywhere. They take their time enjoying their culture and scenery.

Tayler Elam

After lunch, the afternoons usually consist of related field trips and assignments.  Thus far we have had lectures on urbanization, mammals, herps (amphibians and reptiles), and human agriculture.  Days that include field problems consist of all participants being broken into several small groups to explore research topics related to the environment around us.  After gathering information, we then organize a group presentation to display our findings to our peers and instructors.

Asha Farmer

This week counts as my first full week in London! I have really begun to become acclimated with the weather, time difference, and my way around the city. It almost feels like I’ve been here longer than what it seems! This past weekend was very relaxed. We weren’t really out a lot, but we did manage to go out for food! On Sunday we found this amazing little brunch place in Angel. It was so perfect that it was surreal.

Kalah Haley

In terms of fun, it’s been a pretty laid back week. I had a sleepover with friends from church on Friday and then spent the night at another friend’s place on Saturday. Some cultural lessons that I’ve learned about Australia is that they do not take their politics seriously. 

Brittany Jackson

Brittany on mountain


This has been my fourth week in Spain and I can hardly believe how quickly the time is flying by.  Last weekend my group and I organized a trip to Madrid, we had a wonderful time. On Saturday, we went to a seven-story club called Teatro Kapital. Even though it was filled with a lot of tourist, I still had an opportunity to embrace some of the culture through the music. The following day we visited the Prado museum, which was beautiful. Normally I don’t like visiting museums but this one was extremely interesting. I really enjoyed all of the religious paintings they had.

Syundai Johnson

My second week in London has been great. This week was less about sight seeing and more about becoming familiar with the techniques I would be using in lab. My project is focusing on a disease called CLN2 and using zebrafish as a model to experiment on. The reason why zebrafish are used is because they show similar symptoms of the disease to humans. I thought that was very interesting and I was excited to be working with animals; it was something new.

Jasmine Mason

On Monday I began by attempting to make the Bradford Assay for the 6 month and 18 month Mitochondria samples. After performing the procedure, I found that the samples were extremely concentrated and needed to be diluted in order to not underestimate the sample. This week has been occupied by a class that I signed up to take with several other members in my research group so the Bradford Assay had to be pushed aside until Friday.

Syundai and Asha

Syundai and Asha

Albryona Pope

By far Spain is the most beautiful place I have ever had the opportunity to either live or visit. The architecture and landscapes are absolutely breathtaking. I am so thankful for this opportunity.

Gabrielle Richardson

Spain has proved to be nothing but fun so far! This past weekend, I went to Malaga, Spain and enjoyed the beautiful beach and warm sun. The city was beautiful and the beach was very nice. I walked all along a strip filled with stores and restaurants and enjoyed being in a different city for the weekend. To get to Malaga, I rode a bus called the Alsa. The Alsa could be compared to the Greyhound or Megabus in the United States. I really enjoyed taking the bus because it allowed me to see more of the country and it was relatively inexpensive!

Lydia Ruffner

This week has been good. We didn’t really get to do a lot of sight seeing because lab has us all very busy. I am usually in lab from 10-6 or 7pm. I conducted a lot of experiments this week. I developed a western blot that had a lot of protein expression for the antibody β-actin. This is a normal response for this antibody, so I was very happy that it was successful.ydia Ruffner

DeShawn Samad

This week was a pretty relaxing week; it started with a trip to Madrid with the other students in my program.  We left on Friday early evening/ late afternoon to take a bus there.  Normally that would conflict with my time at the research center however work was cancelled that Friday so I was free to as my bosses tell me, “Experience the real Spain.”  For me, this trip to Madrid was a real life changing moment out of all the experiences I’ve had so far.

Marlissa Stalling

Wow Journal! Time is flying by so quickly! I didn’t even realize that July starts this upcoming Monday. During this week in the laboratory, I have been repeating the same procedures as last week. I put the oil through the esterification process which includes the heater system, agitation machine, oven and acid index. I will keep repeating these procedures until the 2nd week of July.  As each week progresses in the laboratory, I feel that more errors and challenges in the experiment are prone to rise. 

Eifel tower

Chelsea Straughn

This week in London has been very focused on work. On Sunday our group decided to venture out and eat breakfast at one of the restaurants around our dorm. We ate at this restaurant called The Breakfast Club and the food was delicious. At first I was going to get my traditional bacon and eggs. However I decided to try something different and break out of my shell. I forget the name of the dish, however it came with eggs, smoked salmon, and toast. It was absolutely delicious and I’m so glad I decided to try something different. I am really surprised that the food in London has been so good!

Dominique White

I cannot believe I only have one week left in South Africa. One thing I have learned is to appreciate every second of life because time is too precious to waste. In the past three weeks I have had many experiences from my homestay to travelling through Kruger National Park and observing animals. Now, it was time to focus on academics.

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