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Scholar Highlights for Week Ending July 24, 2015

July 31, 2015
Tayhlor, Jaycee, Courtney, Jasmine, Akeela, and Krista traveling in Spain

Tayhlor, Jaycee, Courtney, Jasmine, Akeela, and Krista traveling in Spain

Sanura Dewa

This week in the lab I was able to make a lot of progress with my project. I had made it my goal to finish all my research by the end of July and so far I am on track to do that. So, as you know my project this summer is to conduct a life cycle assessment on two prototypes, but something I was having trouble with was finding a life cycle inventory (LCI) program that I could use. This LCI program provides databases that allow the user to enter all the inputs and outputs of a product to generate graphs and tables that show the various environmental impacts. However, these programs can cost anywhere from $500 and upward into the thousands, so I learned very quickly that I had to see if there were other options that I could look into. Through more research I was able to learn about free LCI programs that are available to students or corporations who do not have the funds to conduct an LCA.

Chezlyn Patton 

Chezlyn in London

Chezlyn in London

Well, I knew this moment was coming, but I definitely didn’t think it’d come so soon! My last week in London was full of firsts, and I am glad I am ending on a good note. I presented my research to my colleagues and RVC faculty, and I am so grateful I had that opportunity. I was extremely nervous about this presentation due to the fact that I’d never done research before, and I really wanted to make an impression that reflected 6 weeks of good effort. I’ve presented numerous times before, but somehow this task resonated a lot differently. After much preparation, I’m happy to have received positive feedback from my supervisor, Ph.D. student, and peers.

As I reflect on my time abroad, I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the idea of this experience already being over. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was going through the application process, and here I am having completed my program, and getting ready to board a plane headed back to The States. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have been given to not only learn a great amount about science, but myself. I am feeling good coming off of this experience going into my senior year at Spelman, and I cannot wait to share my experiences! I’m glad I have gotten to open myself up to so many new things, and become more of a global citizen. The things I’ve learned over these 6 weeks I will carry with me forever.

Gabriela Atsepoyi

Dr. Pai has been extremely helpful and I’m extremely thankful she’s here, in addition to helping me understand the biological aspect of my program she has been the perfect observer of my project—she’s allowed be to grow as a researcher and has provided ample support when needed. When Dr. Pai and I aren’t conducting interviews we are exploring the beauty of Monteverde.

Tahylor Tanner

This week my Spelman mentor, Dr. Maloney, visited Madrid. He visited thelab to meet my Spanish mentor and get insight into how my research project is coming along. We also went out to dinner at a restaurant, which I always pass by, but never noticed. The food was amazing and I had a good time. I am glad that he was able to travel to Madrid to make sure that everything was running smoothly along with interacting with me.

Ebone Monk in Glasgow

Ebone Monk in Glasgow

Ebone Monk

This week was extremely productive. I can officially say that the Beta-Pen works!!! Before, I had been doing some bench testing of the SiPMs, using an LED in a light tight box, but I finally finished the circuit, the 3D printed housing, and the cutting of the plastic scintillation material so I could test with it a radioactive source, Strontium-90!! And I got a peak!! It WORKED!! I went running around the lab, and everyone came over, looking at the signal and gave congratulations and suggestions of what to do next. It was great! The excitement of creating something, understanding the impact, and receiving results is empowering!

Nacarri Murphy

Simply put, this week was amazing! Since we have been traveling almost every weekend since June, I have not had time to relax. Monday thru Friday, I travel back and forth to the University of Cordoba by train, leaving home a little before 8 am not to return home until 3 or 4 pm. After that we eat lunch with our family ( really late lunches and dinners are typical of Spanish culture) and take a siesta (Spanish nap) or play around with my computer, read a book, or something until it cools off outside. For reference, the peak hours of temperature are from 2 pm to 9 pm, somewhere in the middle of that time period it usually reaches around 48 degrees Celcius. The Conversion App on my phone says that’s about 120 degrees Farenheight but I’m not for sure because it feels so much hotter.

Martine Williams

And now I know for sure that the end is definitely around the corner because Dr. Kovacs just arrived! I’m really excited and have always been happy that she is my GSTEM mentor because I just finished some research with her last semester, and I have taken one of her biology courses at Spelman. So it seemed perfect that she be my GSTEM mentor.

Javonna D. Williams

Javonna in Scotland

Javonna in Scotland

Other than the lab work for this week, I’m still in the process of writing up my research paper, and preparing for the big talk next Wednesday. I will start on my PowerPoint for the presentation tomorrow, and I know it has to look flawless because my research mentor already mentioned she is a stickler for how slide shows/ PowerPoint’s look. And I couldn’t agree with her even more, so I’m pretty confident about that, but still a little nervous about presenting this research in front of persons not familiar with the biology discipline. However, my plan is to take all of the tools that I have learned about public speaking and apply what I know at this point. I believe I will have thirty minutes to present my research that seems like a long time but in actuality it is not a lot of time. So I will make sure to practice multiple times and practice with someone who has no background in the field of life sciences to see if they understand (completely for the most part) what I am talking about.

Deleonne Clark

This week I gave my final research presentation for the University of Cordoba. It was a power-point presentation that consisted of what I have done thus far and what my results have been. I realized how difficult it was to express my research. Although I knew what results we were hoping to obtain, and although I was implementing different techniques in order to obtain these results, it was difficult for me to explain this to the other professors and my peers. It reminded me of when my mathematics professor at Spelman told our class not to just do the problems to obtain the answer, but that we also had to understand why we are doing what we are doing. I understood the concepts and theories that we were working with, but I never fully understood the entire project before I did my presentation. Quantum Mechanics is a very complex topic. Especially because I have never been exposed to physics at such a high level. My research project has made me realize how much I have learned in the past two months. After sitting down with my mentor I had that “ah-ha” moment. That moment when the lightbulb clicked on in my head and I fully grasped the concepts and the research. Again, I am no expert when it comes to physics. And there are still plenty of things that confuse me, but I was able to put it all together and truly grasp all that I have learned and done this summer.

Krista Montgomery

One of the things that I admire the most that I have enjoyed about the Gstem program is bonding with people that I never thought I would bond with. Most of us did not know each other before coming abroad but after spending weeks together, traveling, talking in the groupme, and going on in Madrid we really have made great friendships that will go beyond this short time abroad.

Courtney Lett in France

Courtney Lett in France

Courtney Lett

This summer has given me a great introduction to computer vision. It’s definitely a field that I’d like to learn more about although I’m not sure if I want to make it my grad school field of study. It is a topic that is used widely throughout many disciplines within computer science however. I’m happy to have a working understanding of the basics and an ability to implement a computer vision program. In the future I’d like to use computer vision with human machine interaction or machine learning. The possibilities of using computers to identify images are endless.


Jett Bagley

It’s pretty entertaining to see how far I’ve come. From literally not knowing anything about computer science, to programs with Google, internships with Boeing and research in Taiwan. I’m proud of myself and want to continue to grow in this field and be great. Starting this summer I will work on some independent projects and try to grow my breadth of CS knowledge and talents. If anything this experience has showed me, I really enjoy the creative aspects of Computer Science, I like to design systems and try to implement original solutions of problems.

Jessica Sainyo

It feels kind of bittersweet to leave Granada or Spain in general because I have to admit I am beyond homesick. Honestly if I could change my plane ticket from Sunday to Friday night I would *giggles*. I honestly do not think that it is Spain I think it is me not being across the country from my parents for so long.

Victoria Doctor

When we finally arrived to the movies it was a culture shock that all of the theaters in the United Kingdom have assigned seating. I went to the tallest movie theater in the world entitled Cineworld Cinema. I was expecting the movie theater to be expensive but it was quite the opposite. They have student discounts for tickets and the food was well worth it. The portions were huge; I ate the longest hotdog I have ever seen in my life. It tasted weird. Now that I have been here for a little over a month, I have come realize that the food is cooked completely different from American food; even Coke products taste different. The entire experience was fun.

Prenessa and Victoria in Scotland

Prenessa and Victoria in Scotland

Prenessa Lowery

Eight days counting until my time here in Glasgow, Scotland is over. Each morning I wake up at 30 Winton Drive, and prepare myself for the day. And, I stop to think how blessed I am to have been chosen for this STEM Summer Research Program. During my time here, I have been researching “Voronoi Diagrams: Properties and Applications.” A Voronoi Diagram is a set of “sites” (points) and a collection of regions that divide up the space. Each region corresponds to one of the sites, and all the sites in one region are closer to the corresponding site than to any
other site.

Jaycee Holmes

The weekend before July 20, I went to Paris to spend the day with some G-STEM scholars who were exploring the city. It made me realize how lonely I am to be in Versailles all by myself when there are groups in cities like London and Madrid. However, surviving alone in another country has given me an education on self-reliance and independence after coming from the sisterhood that is Spelman College. I am forced to absorb myself into the culture around me and adapt myself to a different kind of lifestyle – one that involves public transportation without air conditioning, days that end at seven in the evening although sunsets don’t happen till 10’oclock at night, and the expectation that you pour water for your company before you pour water for yourself. There is an uninterrupted French culture that I believe I would have missed had I been with another American to bring me back to my own reality.

Asia Payne 

Jaycee and Asia in Spain

Jaycee and Asia in Spain

My lab research has been going really well also. I am completely done with my research project. My catalase crystals have diffracted, and I am now writing my research paper for G-STEM. I have also applied for the SACNAS conference in Washington, D.C., as well as for the travel scholarship. I hope to be able to present the research I have conducted this summer at the SACNAS conference.

Micah Henson

Coming here, I uncovered some stereotypes I had about Scotland that I did not even know existed in myself. I used to lump the entire United Kingdom together as one country with one identity. I have learned that Scotland has its own history and culture that is different from England and the rest of the United Kingdom. You would expect that to be kind of obvious, but I still found myself surprised every time I learned something new and special about Scotland. The
Glaswegians that I have encountered have all been exceptionally friendly.

Shelley Cobb in England

Shelley Cobb in England

Shelley Cobb

This six week experience is coming to an end, one that I never imagined would arrive so quickly. I have finalized my research and began to analyze my results and what scientific implications that they have. While the research process and procedures that I carried out during the course of this summer were not perfect, they helped me learn about the true manner of research. Initially, many times I would become upset when the results and raw data did not look how I had expected them. Often times many thoughts would cross my mind trying to figure out on which part of the procedure I made a mistake. Finally I would ask my supervisor and she would inform me that there was a good chance that it was not my fault and that those were the actual results. I began to realize that in research, the majority of my results will most likely not be the expected and many times things will go wrong. Unlike guided lab courses, there is no right answer or expected outcome. True research is a process of trial and error, and fact that I learned throughout this experience.

Sky Myers

Sky Myers in Spain

Sky Myers in Spain

This week in lab was dedicated to finishing controlled tests for my project and forming a preliminary abstract for the SACNAS National Conference in Washington, D.C. this year. I was able to perform isolated heat treatments of the larvae and measure the oxygen consumption rates of untreated larvae. This was my first time writing and submitting a formalized abstract for acceptance to a conference. My mentor and I worked hard to construct an abstract and I am looking forward to hearing back from SACNAS in hopes of my abstract acceptance.

Breän Derrett

This past weekend I went to London and I had such a great time. It was very different from Glasgow. There are lots of palaces and gardens, but in Scotland there are mainly castles. I also had a much easier time understanding their accents. I got to go to Buckingham and Kensington Palaces, Big Ben, the London Eye, the British Museum, and the Natural History Museum. There is so much to do in London and there was never a dull moment.

Ebony Gaillard

I cannot believe that my time in London is coming to a close. I have accomplished more that I predicted during my short stay in Britain. This research experience has flown by so fast through travelling and conducting research.
I am appreciate the presentation component of our research experience evaluation because it gave me an opportunity to talk about original research which I had never done before. As with every presentation, I was very nervous and of course forgot a point or two that I wanted to share with the group. This first presentation allowed me to see where I need improvement as well as helped with the next stage of my research which is the writing process. I will be even better prepared when I have to present during Research Day or any other time during this year. I will miss studying at the Royal Veterinary College and the helpful people that aided me in my research experience.

Jasmin Eatman

As I prepare to leave London and embark on new journeys in the United States, I find myself immensely appreciative of my undergraduate community. I am proud to attend an institution of higher education that encourages its students to study abroad and hosts programs that supports students financially in this endeavor. Living and learning abroad has allowed me to exercise my ability to appreciate other cultures while remembering my own values in gauging the extent of my adaptation. This fall, I will begin a dual degree neuroscience program through Morehouse School of Medicine, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have launched an international network. I see myself, in my professional future, contributing to cognitive neuropsychology research in conjunction with a career in medicine. Through this work, I look forward to the opportunity to combat threats to maternal fetal health on an international level. With increasing climate change and human destruction to the environment, effects of atmospheric contaminants on neurodevelopment toxicity in vitro are increasingly prevalent. The study abroad experience has broadened my consideration of risk assessment in this field through cognitive neuropsychology.

KayCei in Spain

KayCei in Spain

Kaycei Moton-Melancon

Algorithms are imperative in a society that rejects inadequacies. Algorithms are essentially created to make our lives easier and to create uniformity in product. However, the problem begins when one is not completely familiar with the algorithm in question, or must re-create it to fit the new needs. From a computer scientist aspect this week I was used as a cog implementing various algorithms to produce results. Maybe this is a dark interpretation, but I did perform forty pages of data analysis yielding thirty pages of results and thirty-seven pages.

Akeela Lewis

I tried a Senegalese restaurant. I had smothered chicken with white rice, gravy, and huge load of onions. It reminded me of the meals that my grandmother in the United States cooked for me.

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