The Undergraduate Research Center at Occidental College

I got involved at the Summer Research Program because I think that naturally I gravitate towards the
non-traditional classroom setting. It’s an amazing summer job, and it doesn’t feel like a job. I got involved with Summer Research Program because it sounded like a cool opportunity and I was looking for something to challenge me over the summer. It’s a 10-week program, it’s residential,
so instead of a summer job they have this really meaningful experience of
working one-on-one with a faculty member. What I love about the Summer Research Program is the opportunity it gives students to
figure out what they want. I knew that the Cannon Lab was sort of famous for their work ethic and how much Professor Cannon can help you
grow as a researcher. It’s really a gift to both
the student and the faculty member to be able to spend ten weeks really going
deep on on a single question or a single project. It gives our students a chance
to dive deeply into a particular question for a prolonged period of time, literally all day, day after day after day,
doing full-time research. One of the things we’re really proud of is that it’s open to all students so we define
research to also include creative projects so any major can participate
and have this wonderful experience. I’ve learned to ask questions and to be on
top of my own work because nobody else is going to be babysitting you the entire time. Doing research in the summer at Oxy has definitely been different for me in that I have the time and the resources to give the question that I’m thinking about and kind of feed my curiosity with better
nutrition, you could say. I think it sparks that creative and intellectual passion that then they can follow through. Even if you don’t plan on a career in academia you’re learning things here that you can
apply to any kind of employment. I love seeing them learn and become independent in the lab, and ultimately I love seeing them just become really critical thinkers as scientists. That is, I think transformative for the student, but also really kind of regenerating for faculty, as well. The summer gives them an opportunity to do something that they do during the rest of the year. For me, hands-on experience has helped me
grow as a person. Being a faculty mentor is probably the most meaningful aspect of my job as a professor here at Oxy. Being in the program has helped me realize that I want to pursue other research opportunities and that there is so much more that I can pursue
past the 10-week program.

2 thoughts on “The Undergraduate Research Center at Occidental College

  • November 22, 2019 at 5:48 am

    Hi Cheyenne

  • November 22, 2019 at 6:44 am

    Well done Cheyenne… Looks like the summer program was another great opportunity for you at Oxy.


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