I first got involved with the UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Program the summer after my freshman year. I was given the opportunity to travel to Fort Collins, Colorado and do both breast cancer research and biosimulation research. This is where I really found passion for research. I was working with outstanding scientists and veterinarians. I was putting knowledge that I had gained in the classroom to practice. It helped me to make sense of everything I had learned and gave me a deeper understanding. I continued to be involved in doing undergraduate research throughout my four years at Whitewater. My research ranged from analyzing mice DNA to creating dog organs out of silicone products to studying wild reptiles in Wisconsin. It was the most rewarding experience I had in college. It helped me practice the skills I was learning in class, but it was also a lot of fun. I built fantastic relationships with my professors and research mates. Through these relationships I was also able to work with other professionals in their field like researchers with the DNR and top veterinary surgeons. I also got to travel a lot with my research. I gave presentations on campus and the community. I was also able to present at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Utah. All of these experiences shaped me as a scientist and person. Now I am attending veterinary medical school at the University of Wisconsin- Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. This past summer I received an summer research fellowship through the veterinary school and studied a microsporidian parasite that infects 75% of the zebrafish facilities worldwide. This research solidified my desire to pursue a PhD. I was accepted into the dual degree program where I will be obtaining my DVM and PhD over the course of 8 years. I am very excited for the new opportunity and ready to take on the challenges it brings. My ultimate goal is to be an aquatic veterinarian. There is so much we don't know about the aquatic species. I want to start building up our knowledge and push aquatic veterinary medicine further. My passion has always been animal health, and with my research background I will be able to help entire populations of animals and ecosystems. Undergraduate research is more than just gaining a credit; it is about exploring something that fascinates you and learning more about yourself along the way. Most of all, it will set you up for opportunities you never thought would be possible!
As a transfer student into UW-Whitewater one thing that attracted me most to the campus was the community. I always felt as if every professor cared about me and offered many opportunities for development. Undergraduate research was one thing that was stressed to me by my professors for students looking to go to graduate school. I began my undergrad research through a program introduced to me by my professor called WiscAMP. This set me up to gain a spot in my chemistry professor's lab and a chance to go to Hyderabad, India for research. I was given the opportunity to present my research on campus and at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, which helped my public speaking skills. As a graduate for UW-Whitewater now, I can say my undergraduate research prompts the interest of many during interviews. Having that experience allowed me to build mentor relationships with my professors. This was important for me when applying for school, having someone who can speak to your work ethic and character. It also made me competitive among my peers when applying for school or jobs, this experience showed my prospects my ability to think critically. The Undergraduate Research Program taught me skills I still use today.
During my time at UW-Whitewater, I was fortunate enough to be a part of many different programs and activities that really helped me develop as a person and young professional. One of the most life-changing programs was the Undergraduate Research Program. This program completely changed my college experience because I had the opportunity conduct research and present at the state, national, and international levels. Working on my research project opened up my mind to the infinite number of possibilities available post graduation. I currently continue to work on my initial goals of becoming a Spanish teacher, but now I also plan on completing a Master's or Doctorate degree that will allow me to conduct research on Hispanic Linguistics. My goal is to apply this knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of the language that I will then apply to becoming a better teacher. Thus, the Undergraduate Research Program allowed me to see these other possibilities. Not only did my college experience at UW-Whitewater improve immensely, but my career path also changed as I learned about the many opportunities available to me in my professional life.