Building Connections from Far Away

Before coming to Pitt, I quite frankly had no idea what research was, and the impact that research can have on the larger community. My initial impression of research was limited to scientific research- mainly the image of a scientist sitting in a lab with a flask full of chemicals. When I first started to get involved in research, I was able to learn about the diversity and similarities in STEM related research fields, but I am still a bit unclear how research is represented in fields outside of the ones I am familiar with. That is why I am so excited to learn about research projects on the humanities side- I want to learn more about what research that entails and how my peers got involved and will conduct their research. Specific to my cohort, I am excited to learn about how Alison is conducting her research, and about her interpretation of Anne of Green Gables. I find her topic to be really interesting, and I think she is exploring it in such a cool way by examining how different adaptations define the concept of girlhood. I think David is taking an enticing approach to his project, and I am excited to hear his album and how he is able to incorporate historical contexts of the Hill District into his album as well. Max’s project is so unique, and I find it so creative and fascinating for him to show how is able to incorporate his interests and studies to make a project that he is passionate about. While these projects are very different from my own, we are all able to take our interests to learn more about the world around us, and I am excited to see the development of their projects throughout the summer and expand my own definition of the term “research”.

There are also a lot of people in my cohort doing research in STEM related fields, and I found it really cool to see how each of us contribute unique research projects to add knowledge towards a common goal. For example, Ben’s project is centered around providing accessible diagnostic tests for cancer, Rhea’s project is about telemedicine and providing more accessible care, and my project is about gaining knowledge to provide better treatments for cancer patients. Although we are all carrying out our projects in such different ways and studying different aspects of healthcare, we are all working towards a common goal of providing successful healthcare. I think that this goes to show just how diverse and interconnected fields of research are, even when they might not seem to be similar on the exterior. Another project that I am excited to learn more about is Kamron’s. Even though we are studying different diseases, I think that Kamron and I have very similar ways in which we are conducting our research, and I would love to learn more in detail about how he is carrying out his research project. We also both had to adjust our projects to a remote setting, and I am interested to hear how he is adjusting and adapting from his original proposal.

Even though I did not mention everyone in my cohort, I found all of our projects to be very interesting, and I am excited to watch their growth throughout the summer. By working across disciplines, I think we are all learning about new tools to look at problems in our society, and what ways we are going about solving them. I think that the biggest challenge for us will be to present our research to those who are not necessarily in our discipline, but I think that also having this interdisciplinary experience will give us valuable tools to learn how to present out research.

One of the views I am missing most about campus right now 🙂


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