Looking back on my years as an undergraduate student, I can honestly say that the defining moment of my college career occurred when I first stepped into a laboratory at the College of Staten Island. For a while, I had been hearing about all the different types of research that was taking place right on campus, and as someone still striving to find my niche, I decided I wanted to try my hand at this. However, the beginning was the most daunting. I had no idea where to start or whom to speak with.
|Joseph in the lab.|
During my involvement in these projects, I have been able to both increase my knowledge in the sciences and also learn the technical aspects of hands-on research. It has been a treat to apply techniques that previously I had only been reading about in textbooks. And it has been quite the experience to work with animals and various cell lines. With the opportunity to thrive in this learning environment, I have been able to lay the groundwork for establishing myself as a scientist. What began as simple curiosity slowly developed into a true passion for discovering answers which can only be uncovered by scientific experimentation.
One facet of research that I did not expect involved the presenting of our findings at various conferences. This allowed me a platform to exercise my ability to speak in front of an audience and present my work. One of the highlights included my participation with the American Chemical Society chapter at CSI. We attended the 43rd ACS Middle Atlantic Regional meeting at the University of Maryland and during the course of three days, we met fellow researchers from various states and were presented with the latest information at the forefront of chemistry research. We were able to stay at the university’s dorms, free of charge, which even included a meal plan.
Besides the research portion, one of my favorite aspects about working in a lab is having the support of a cast of colleagues who are with me every step of the way, kindly sharing their experiences and expert knowledge. It has come to the point where I can consider them an extension of my family. And I still find it unbelievable how many friends I have met through research. This coming summer, I am thrilled to be able to participate in a neuroscience research program in the Netherlands at Maastricht University. It goes to show that if you are willing to leave your comfort zone and put yourself out there to try new experiences, you will never know who you will meet or what opportunities you will find. So please, if you have even the slightest interest in research, I highly encourage you to give it a try and shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unsure of where to begin!
Joseph will be speaking at an Undergraduate Science Research VELA on Tuesday, April 30th at 2:30 in 5N-112. If you'd like to attend this workshop and learn more from fellow Verrazano students about how to get involved in undergraduate science and psychology research, please RSVP to the Verrazano office at 718-982-4171.