UPR CayeyMy growth as a young scientist:Spring 2013Nicolle A. Rosa MercadoBIOL. 3095Prof. E. González and Prof. E. Díaz
The last semester of my freshman year I participated in the RISE Spring Semester Bridge. Thecourse that was provided had an emphasis on laboratory techniques. Throughout it, differentprofessors from Universidad de Puerto Rico at Cayey offered workshops in which they taught usabout a variety of laboratory techniques such as agarose gel electrophoresis and electronmicroscopy. In addition to laboratory techniques, we also learned skills such as team-work. Iconsider it a privilege to have been able to partake of this course.During this class the professors provided workshops on mycobacteriophages, proteomics, waterquality, in silico drug discovery, nanoparticles, and microscopy. The class also arranged forstudents to attend workshops where a professor taught us how to write a personal statement. Thecourse was designed to bestow upon the students the basic techniques used for a scientificinvestigation. It also required each student to work under the mentorship of one of the professorswho have ongoing research investigation within campus. All of these things allowed the students toget a preview of what working in a laboratory is like.The class required me to be present in three different seminars provided by professors andgraduate students. After each seminar the students were to write a reflection about what they learnedand the importance of it. These seminars gave me an idea of the research that is being done and howI can be part of it. They were very helpful because they also explained how undergraduate studentssuch as myself can obtain research experience and apply to graduate school. I learned differentthings regarding a diversity of topics by attending these seminars.Each student was expected to prepare a primary article with one of his colleagues. We also hadto prepare a laboratory notebook following the correct guidelines. In the notebook we were to writeall of the procedures regarding our assigned research. Each pair of students also had to prepare afinal presentation about the research they had started. This experience allowed us to gain furtherknowledge about teamwork and what goes on inside a laboratory.Participating in the RISE Spring Semester Bridge helped me work on my social skills by forcingme to work in pairs. It also showed me the variety of options within the field of research through
each workshop. We practiced techniques from previous courses by writing a primary article and thereflections for each seminar. This has been a wonderful experience which has greatly contributed tomy academic life. It has allowed me to recognize the things that I need to improve and work onimproving them for my own benefit as a professional.