The Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Education and Human Resources Programs (EHR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Human Resource Development (HRD), within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). The conference is aimed at college and university undergraduate and graduate students who participate in programs funded by the NSF HRD Unit, including underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities. (cited, http://www.emerging-researchers.org/)
Ochoa’s poster submission, UV Nucleotide Binding Site Photocrosslinking of Antibodies at Various Light Intensities, tied as a First Place Poster Presentation in Biological Sciences at the 2018 ERN. Ochoa reflected on her award and shares the benefits of attending a national conference.
This was a very humbling moment because it allowed me to reflect on all of the support that I have received from Dr. Alves, mentors, professors, family, and friends. Ultimately, I am extremely grateful to have had experienced this. I feel more than ever motivated to pursue a research and engineering career and to inspire the youth and minority students to pursue STEM careers.
Ochoa was able to network with LSAMP students from other states such as Oklahoma. Meeting students from across the nation who share interests and are part of similar organizations is one of my favorite parts of attending national conferences. I think that it is important for young and aspiring researchers and engineers to experience and meet others that are like them because it creates a strong sense of community and provides minorities with role models who look like them.
I had the pleasure of representing my mentor, Dr. Nathan J Alves, IUPUI, and IUSM Department of Emergency Medicine by competing in the Biological Sciences category. This conference provided me with the opportunity to practice communicating the work that I do in the lab, network with other students and professionals, and learn more about career, internship, and graduate school opportunities.
My favorite speaker was Gregory Triplett, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University. After hearing Dr. Triplett’s remarks, it inspired me to continue my journey towards a career in STEM and to take full advantage of being able to be present at the conference. The night concluded with a graduate school fair which was extremely beneficial. I had the opportunity to speak to recruiters and admission members from top biomedical science and engineering schools including Harvard. By simply attending the fair, I received multiple graduate application fee waivers and invitations to apply for summer research internships.
Celia Ochoa is a 2018 IN LSAMP Scholar. Learn more about the IN LSAMP IUPUI program here: https://inlsamp.org/iupui/