Diana, member of the College 2020 Class and a sophomore at Franklin & Marshall College, has already made her summer 2018 plans! She will be working as a research assistant to one of her professors. Below, Diana offers some sage inspiration to all current DTS high school students.
When I was a first year at Franklin & Marshall I always heard about students doing cool stuff in college like traveling abroad for free through Critical Language Scholarship, Fulbrights, or doing research with professors. I was always interested in these opportunities, but timid to ask professors or my advisor.
This year, I learned you have to go after the things you want. I emailed professors about their research and had several meetings with the ones I was truly interested in working with. This summer, I will be a paid research assistant working with Professor Fields from F&M. He is a marine biologist and biochemist. We will be looking into a symbiotic relationship between coral reefs and photosynthetic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) at a biochemical level. Two hypotheses Professor Fields is testing are: “(1) corals and their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates are biochemically adapted to different thermal environments, and (2) differing thermal tolerance observed in diverse Symbiodium types are mediated by differences in biochemical adaptation of temperature.”
I am excited about the amazing things I will learn this summer which will help me in my future career. I am also a little intimidated by the rigor of this field, but I will work hard and learn a lot!
To wrap up my long message, I want to tell you guys to go after what you want, and don’t be afraid to ask. In college and in high school there are a lot of opportunities to travel for free, grants to do research, and more. Remember that you are your own advocate! Keep working hard 🙂 because there are awesome things that await you no matter the field you choose to pursue!