Student Spotlights

Joey Corstvet

"There are three reasons I got involved. The first was the desire to gain experience in a research setting. The second reason was to fulfill the lab credits needed to graduate, while the third reason was to boost my resume."

Hometown: New Berlin, WI

Major(s): Chemistry

Current Research Group: Hamers

 

What is your favorite part about research?

My favorite part is knowing that no one else has answered the questions that I am attempting to answer while potentially being the first person in the scientific community to find the answer to that question.

What has been the scariest/most challenging part about research?

The tests I perform fail about 95% of the time, occasionally leading to frustration and a feeling of wasted time.

What advice to you have for prospective undergraduate researchers?

Be honest with yourself about what really interests you and follow that interest when looking at possible research opportunities.

 

Stephen Early

"Resilience is key. Getting started on a research project will surely involve a lot of failure and experiments that don’t go as planned, but learning about how to get back on your feet, learning from these failures, and using them as touch points is what will be the most impactful part of the research process."

Hometown: Groveland, MA

Major(s): Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering

Current Research Group: Blackwell

 

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on pursuing a PhD in Chemical Biology/Biochemistry.

Why did you get involved in research?

After the first few lectures of my introductory and organic chemistry classes, I came to the realization that I wanted to be like my professors- having the wonderful job of asking questions all day, leading a research group to revel in these questions, and teach courses to inspire the next generation of scientific minds. Furthermore, I wanted to become involved in research in hopes of learning the ways in which we as humans are able to create new knowledge about the world around us.

What has been the scariest/most challenging part of research?

The most challenging part of science is learning through trial and error how to become and independent scientific thinker. But once you get to the point of being confident in your ideas, you will feel forever grateful for the power scientific inquiry grants us as people.

Brian Ferrer

"Of course you want the reaction to work the way you're expecting, but sometimes an unexpected reaction could be just as valuable. A lot of great discoveries in history happened by accident, so it's not necessarily a bad thing when you do an experiment that produces unexpected results. "

Hometown: Pulaski, WI

Major(s): Chemistry, Biochemistry

Current Research Group: Gellman

 

What are your plans after graduation?

[I am] currently in the middle of applying to graduate programs and will hopefully be pursuing a PhD in either Chemistry or Chemical Biology next fall!

Why did you get involved in research?

I was in my introductory organic chemistry class and wanted to know more about what goes on behind the scenes. I also wanted to try and figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and thought that research might be an interesting avenue to explore.

What advice do you have for prospective undergraduate researchers?

I would definitely advise prospective undergraduate researchers to get started early! I would also challenge them to not be afraid to propose ideas to their future mentors or PI’s. It might actually become a real project!

Eleanor Landwehr

"I love the idea of doing new things that no one else has ever done, and continually building on my knowledge."

Hometown: Hartland, WI

Major(s): Chemical Engineering

Current Research Group: Schomaker

 

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on going to graduate school. I want to get my PhD in organic chemistry and hope to one day be an organic chemistry professor. I am extremely passionate about research and hope that it is always a part of my life and career.

Why did you get involved in research?

I hope to one day have a career in research. I love the idea of doing new things that no one else has ever done, and continually building on my knowledge. Research means that you never stop learning, and that is something that I love.

What has been the scariest/most challenging part of research?

The scariest part initially was worrying that I would mess something up so badly and somehow cause an accident or mess up someone else’s work. The reality is is that everybody makes mistakes and whether they are big or small, they are all mostly fixable and chances are someone else in your lab has made that same mistake. Mistakes are something you can bond over just as much as successes!