Crash Course, but make it Brackenridge

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Looking through some of the introductions for the Brackenridge fellowship, there is a great variety in research topics this summer. From students who are making documentaries to studying the biological causes of Alzheimer’s, there are there are so many students who are working to do something new in our community. From my fellow researchers, I want to hear their stories. Yes, their research is important and they say so in their introductions, but there is always more to the story. Everybody is attracted to research for different reasons. This pursuit of knowledge that we are on, is definitely not an easy one and we all have our own motivations to get us through it. I want to hear what drives everybody to do this and follow what they are passionate about.

I noticed that my cohort seems to be slightly tailored towards the sciences, as there are a few students who are doing biological research, psychology and climate change. This is interesting for me because I am majoring in both a natural science and a humanity (neuroscience and history). Although I enjoy learning about the sciences and plan to pursue a career in medicine, science research has never really been my thing. I tried it out a little bit in high school but didn’t real take to it. That is why I have focused my research more on a history perspective of medicine. I see this as a great opportunity to be able to learn from people whoa re doing research in a field that I am very interested in, but not actively researching in. One of the research projects that I thought was really cool is Hilary Liu’s study of zinc and mitochondria. Hilary and I have similar career goals and have chosen similar majors. I think that it is interesting that history chose one side of our dual majors (neuroscience) and I chose the other (history). Throughout the summer, I hope to keep in touch with Hilary to learn more about her research so that I can learn more about neuroscience. Hopefully I can share my research with her as well.

The best thing about being part of an interdisciplinary community is that there is the potential to learn so much! With a wide variety of topic areas, there are so many ideas that can be shared between the network of scholars, for the mutual benefit of everyone. It’s like if you went to pull up Khan Academy or Crash Course, except you have the opportunity to learn from and interact with your peers. The only caveat here is that sometimes it can be difficult to understand research specifics in something that you don’t know a ton about. However, I hope that since we have such a wide variety of research topics, we will all be able to work on our abilities to explain our research to people who aren’t experts in those fields. It will be challenging, but I think we have a great opportunity to grow as academics and people here and I am very excited to be part of it.

The cover photo that I chose for this post is Pittsburgh in the year 1900, the time that my research project is focusing. I chose it both for its relevance to my research as well as to show that I miss this beautiful city so much and can’t wait to be back.

-Corey Schultz

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