Difficult Work Makes an Experienced Researcher


Scholarly work is difficult, I believe that researchers understand this statement at its core. As an undergraduate student we are flooded with information and discoveries that came from research within our classes. The overflow of conclusions and data makes it seem like research can be quick and without bumps in the road if you have good experimental design and protocols. As I participated more in research, I discovered that is far from the truth. There are a lot of unexpected turns that I would not have been able to imagine, had I not gotten into research this summer. This knowledge came about by my experiment getting delayed for two weeks. We had ordered mouse huts that were on severe backorder. These huts were required to be in cages by animal protection laws. That meant that we could not begin my experiment on the predicted timeline and that portion of the project had to get pushed back. All this all over a few mouse huts. Additionally, I learned how much people from other fields could influence my own research. I knew that people who were doing justice research or literature research were important to contribute at bettering society, but I could not have guessed how closely these projects would be able to tie into mine. Through my interactions with the other Brackenridge scholars, I was able to find many of them that could be applied to my research in cancer and stress. Especially someone investigating the war metaphor in cancer and how it could add unnecessary stress to people undergoing cancer treatment. Through these weekly interactions, I was able to learn about information that benefitted me in an everyday aspect as well as a specific research aspect. I believe the most valuable part about the Brackenridge experience was the weekly unscripted meetings with the other scholars. Talking about research in a relaxed format gave me an opportunity to ask questions and interact with researchers in a way that poster fairs and formal discussions could not. Now that the Brackenridge is over, I hope to use my newfound understanding of interdisciplinary research throughout my career. On a more basic level, I plan to continue my research with Head and Neck Cancer and use the lessons I have learned from the Brackenridge to further pursue my goals within academic study. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities and experiences that the Brackenridge has provided me, and I look forward to my future research not only in my undergraduate and graduate education but also in the rest of my career.

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