My overall perspective toward research has changed for the better through my experience with the Health Science Research Fellowship. Through my years at Pitt, I have had a tendency to look toward others and my own research at a very detailed level, focusing my attention on the specifics of whatever specialized question was being explored. Often this led me to the assumption that everyone doing research on campus had their own specific end goals and objectives: everyone was pursuing their own mission. I believe this to still holds true in that every individual brings their unique talents and attributes to some finite goal, but my HSRF experience has opened my eyes to the possibility that there is a bit more to it than that.
Perhaps the most constructive value this fellowship offered came from its consistent emphasis on communicative and collaborative opportunities. Week after week my classmates and I had the opportunity to discuss, learn, and explore each other’s research progress and experiences on a personal level. Although I have discussed research with other students in the past, my exposure to a range of specialties and insight into novel perspectives has never been anything like what I have experienced through HSRF. It became quite apparent to me that all of us share the same overarching mission of helping our community evolve for the better, through our unique commitments to research in very different fields of study. Thanks to HSRF, my perspective of research changed from everyone “doing their own thing” and pursuing some specialized goal to everyone being on the same team working towards one broader common goal in different ways.
Moving forward, I plan on using my experience from HSRF to pursue my specific and broader academic and personal goals. With this, I am excited to be beginning my first year of graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health within the Department of Health Policy and Management. Simultaneously, I’ll be completing my undergraduate education here at Pittsburgh in pursuit of a dual degree in philosophy and the biological sciences. In this coming year, and through whatever else the future may hold, I will be dedicated to growing and improving our community by following my passions and by working together with like-minded individuals throughout our larger community.
Thank you to everyone at the Frederick Honors College for the opportunity to pursue the Health Science Research Fellowship; It has been an unforgettable adventure!