Senior Biology Major Conducts Summer Research at UC-Berkeley
Lindsey Knapp spent this past summer in sunny California, but she wasn’t just lounging on the beach. The Ashland University senior biology major was busy researching and studying as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program, Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Based at the University of California-Berkeley, Knapp worked alongside other biology students and professors, and ultimately took home valuable skills she will utilize both in school and in her future career.
While conducting her research in David Weisblat’s lab in the molecular and cellular biology department, Knapp collaborated with 10 other students from around the country and the world. Her responsibilities were very similar to that of a graduate student, implementing experiments individually and with a partner throughout the summer and giving a final presentation of her experiments and results.
In addition to working in the laboratory, Knapp participated in other workshops that focused on graduate school applications, science careers, scientific ethics and public speaking.
“We also got to meet, interact with, and attend lectures from amazing scientists such as Tyrone Hayes, a world expert on fertilizers’ effect on the endocrine system, and Robert Full, a biophysicist who helped make movies such as ‘A Bug’s Life’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’,” she explained.
Knapp found this particular REU on the NSF website, but had applied to several for the summer. She was accepted into four different programs and in the end, chose Berkeley. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. in development biology and work in an industry or government lab. Overall, the experience at Berkeley has prepared Knapp for the next step in her education – graduate school.
“This REU prepared me immensely for my future education and career,” she said. “The experience of implementing my own experiments and troubleshooting for my own research project is invaluable. In graduate school, I will essentially be working on a project of the same caliber but with more freedom and independence.”
Knapp’s advice to anyone interested in applying for an REU, particularly science majors like herself, is to make your application stand out by injecting personality into essays, providing excellent letters of recommendation, and being precise about the application process.
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.