UROP Spring Symposium

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Rachael Pocklington
Parents Program
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404-385-3920
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Summaries

Summary Sentence:

A student offers her perspective on UROP.

Full Summary:

Last spring, my mentor emailed me about a presentation opportunity at the annual Georgia Tech UROP Spring Symposium. I was enthused about the prospect of presenting our research to other undergraduate researchers and faculty. It had been awhile since my last high school science fair and since then, I felt like I had entered the "major leagues" of research. My final year of high school marked the end to elementary projects on the effects of vitamin C on plant growth and the Pavlovian conditioning of goldfish. As a Georgia Tech undergraduate researcher, I was now working with the formulation of nanoprobes that facilitated contrast-enhanced medical imaging of breast tumors and interrogation of tumor vasculature for nanochemotherapeutic prognoses-research that was beautiful in its intricacies and, more importantly, research that had practical application. I wanted to do our research justice and to prove to myself as well as others how much I had learned since I started researching. The UROP Spring Symposium was my opportunity to do just that. In a manner of speaking, it served as a milestone in my young researching career.

Leslie Chan
Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering

Last spring, my mentor emailed me about a presentation opportunity at the annual Georgia Tech UROP Spring Symposium. I was enthused about the prospect of presenting our research to other undergraduate researchers and faculty. It had been awhile since my last high school science fair and since then, I felt like I had entered the "major leagues" of research. My final year of high school marked the end to elementary projects on the effects of vitamin C on plant growth and the Pavlovian conditioning of goldfish. As a Georgia Tech undergraduate researcher, I was now working with the formulation of nanoprobes that facilitated contrast-enhanced medical imaging of breast tumors and interrogation of tumor vasculature for nanochemotherapeutic prognoses-research that was beautiful in its intricacies and, more importantly, research that had practical application. I wanted to do our research justice and to prove to myself as well as others how much I had learned since I started researching. The UROP Spring Symposium was my opportunity to do just that. In a manner of speaking, it served as a milestone in my young researching career.

During the week leading up to the symposium I went through my oral presentation countless times, making sure it was succinct and coherent. I relayed my presentation to my reflection, and when I desired a more lively audience, coerced my suitemates to sit through my practices. The most intimidating run-through occurred under the scrutiny of my mentor. The preparation process fired me up for the symposium. On the day of the symposium, I put on my lucky suit (which has yet to fail me) and walked to class. That day there were only two things on my mind: my biomechanics quiz and the symposium. I don't remember how I did on the quiz that day, but the symposium I recall quite clearly.

When it was my turn to present, the facilitator handed me a laser pointer which I was unsure I could use considering the slight shake in my hands. I began my talk, and to my relief the shake in my voice eventually subsided. My fifteen minutes were up before I knew it. At the risk of sounding nerdy, they were the most exhilarating fifteen minutes of my semester. My mentor always emphasizes the story aspect of research. To relay your research in an appealing package, the audience has to understand the purpose of such research and what problems it could potentially solve. At the symposium, I did my best to tell the story of our research. The opportunity to present was rewarding enough, but to my delight our presentation won first place.

The UROP Spring Symposium was a good opportunity for me to practice my communication skills. Results generated in the lab are important, but for them to have any value they must be conveyed logically in writing or orally. The symposium reinforced this observation. That day I was also able to learn of other ongoing Georgia Tech research projects. Producing something in the lab is rewarding. Sharing that product with others who are interested is even more rewarding. Winning first place in the symposium gave me confidence that perhaps I might have a future in the field of research. In these respects, the symposium strengthened my ties to research. There is nothing to lose with participating in the symposiumÂ…only much to be gained.

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Parent and Family Programs

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Institute and Campus, Student and Faculty
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Keywords
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Status
  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 3, 2009 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:11pm