IN LSAMP Scholars Pivot their Skill Set to Thrive in Tovar Lab: Eric Raymond

In part three of our series, we hear from our IN LSAMP scholar from Ivy Tech Community College, Eric Raymond. His immersive research experience is in Dr. Tovar’s Research Lab at IUPUI. This summer was funded through a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) with the Integrated Nanosystems Development Institute. This 10-week research experience infused with training and professional development programming is dedicated to nanomaterials for energy and biological applications.

Raymond highly recommends working with Dr. Tovar, “[Dr. Tovar] will push you until you find the answer. This is so good because right when you want to give up, you will find the solution. He knows the capability of students in this program and is willing to coach them until they are able to reach those abilities. He is very patient when you are stuck and knows what it is like to be new at something.”

He knows the capability of students in this program and is willing to coach them until they are able to reach those abilities.

Dr. Tovar highlights how Eric thrived in the lab, “When the summer started, Eric had basic knowledge of Python and no experience in Artificial Intelligence. Now, after a month of work, he is becoming an expert in AI and a great programmer.”

Looking back on this experience Raymond identifies advantages to participating in a summer REU:

  • Using knowledge in a more developed way outside of class settings
  • Creating new connections with professors and PhD students that will be useful throughout his career
  • Connecting with employers that will be hiring students after the completion of research
  • Learning new ideas and techniques that he never knew possible

The IN LSAMP Team works to prepare students for rigorous experiences by creating a community of support and broadening STEM connections. Raymond echoes this philosophy in his experience with IN LSAMP:

LSAMP is full of great individuals that are walking very difficult paths, but they have made it through, and are standing at the finish line coaching others as they make their way as well. There are people who look like me and are struggling just like me but are not willing to give up no matter the circumstances. You have to keep pushing and being willing to fall and get back up.

Eric Raymond, Ivy Tech Community College IN LSAMP Scholar

Raymond’s advice to students:

  • Form as many connections as you can! Put your foot in many doors and create new connections with new people. You need these opportunities to excel in your career and they will help you become developed as you grow as a student through your schooling. 
  • Be Patient! This is not a race, it’s a marathon. Research is new to everyone and to focus on the goal which helps future researchers in their research. Science as we know is a group effort from very smart people and we are helping pave the way for future researchers.
  • Be your best you! Research programs are very intense and very important to the future of technology.


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Assessment Institute in Indianapolis

We would like to extend to you and your colleagues an invitation to join us for the 2020 Assessment Institute, held virtually, October 25-28, 2020. For 2020, we are pleased to offer complimentary registration to attend the virtual Assessment Institute, including our pre-Institute workshops on Sunday, October 25, to all members of the higher education community. This is our way of supporting colleagues who are facing travel-related concerns or restrictions and resource constraints in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on registering for the Assessment Institute click here.