I write this back in San Luis Obispo, about to begin my last Fall Quarter. I’ve been reflecting on what this summer has meant to me and what it has enabled me to do from here on out. I’ve learned a lot about KMU and how it operates as both a place of learning and a place of the unknown. Students day in and day out spend their free time furthering their own scientific journeys and I am grateful I was able to get a glimpse of that. Kat and I didn’t get as much data as we had hoped, but what we did get was an enriching cultural experience as well as a new understanding of the scientific method in a more global perspective. Dr. Li and Kelly have been immensely helpful in providing feedback and showing us how things work at KMU in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Environmental Biology. I think we were able to teach Kelly a lot about how things operate in our perspective universities. I now can bring back a new kind of knowledge into my own academic spheres but also further develop skills I’ve learned in Kaohsiung. I hope to take this drive into the future as I apply seek both jobs and grad schools. I was also able to learn a lot about myself, too, seeing as I am now more confident in my Mandarin as well as my role as a researcher.
In the last two weeks, Kat and I gathered as much data as we could before having our final presentation to Dr. Li. Kelly left early to go back home to Taoyuan, but we kept in contact in order to help assist us in different cell assays. In our final days, we wrote up our report for MHIRT and created our presentation. Though, our friends from the Guo lab took us around the neighboring areas of Kaohsiung. There, we spent our last meal with some of our friends before our departure. I am so grateful for the opportunity MHIRT has given me and I want to use my new found status as an alum to further its work for underrepresented student researchers. – Brendon