Reflecting on my Brackenridge Summer Experience

My summer was spent reviewing scientific literature, forming hypotheses, drafting my undergraduate thesis, conducting data analysis in R, and, most importantly, becoming a more confident and well-rounded researcher. I am immensely proud of my own accomplishments and my peers’ contributions to their fields. The Brackenridge Fellowship allowed me the invaluable opportunity of working on my research project while meeting peers who are just as dedicated to their own research. I have been an undergraduate research assistant since January of 2020, but I have never had an opportunity quite like this one.

I found that being an active member of the Brackenridge Fellowship community was incredibly rewarding. I loved discussing my own struggles with other students who had overcome similar difficulties with their own projects. I believe that the support and encouragement of the Brackenridge community truly enhanced my research experience. My cohort was comprised of individuals researching a multitude of topics, ranging from ecology to computer science to queer and gender studies. Although our research interests ranged across many fields, we connected in ways which I would not have expected. I particularly enjoyed watching my peers make progress on their research endeavors over the course of the summer. I am so grateful that I was able to become immersed in this interdisciplinary community. The Brackenridge Fellowship allowed me to make amazing connections with likeminded peers across a variety of disciplines, and I hope to stay in contact with many as they continue their research journeys.

As the Brackenridge Fellowship comes to a close, I plan to continue writing my undergraduate thesis. The next few months will be spent revising drafts and preparing for my thesis defense, which will occur near the end of the Fall 2022 semester. Although I am incredibly excited to complete my thesis and graduate this December, I am most excited to spend every possible moment with my wonderful friends here at the University of Pittsburgh. Without a doubt, they are the best part of my college experience, and I could not write this thesis without their endless support. I intend to spend my last semester cheering on the Panthers in Heinz Field, enjoying beautiful weather on Cathy Lawn, and cherishing every moment that remains of my undergraduate career. I am so thankful for the Brackenridge Fellowship Program and all else that Pitt has given me over the past three years.

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