Recently infections of Candida Auris have been becoming more common all over the world. Candida Auris is a fungal infection that preys on people with weakened immune systems. Most people who are infected are those who are in hospitals. This fungal infection is especially dangerous because it is resistant to most antibiotics. This fungus infects those with weakened immune systems and most patients that are infected do not live for more than forty days. Much of the information about these outbreaks are not being shared with the public until about a year after the outbreak. The symptoms of Candida Auris are fatigue, fever and aches which seem fairly common but in a person who is already ill these symptoms can become deadly.
This outbreak is increasingly concerning because it is targeting the people with weakened immune system which are the people who are currently the weakest and can be the most negatively affected by contracting a fungi. The concern is also that the public is not well aware of this outbreak because cases are not shared openly with the public. This can put even more people at risk because people could be unknowingly be walking into an outbreak. This acknowledgement of this outbreak is really important because without this outbreak could continue to be increasingly more devastating.
I feel that this outbreak should be made known to the public and that hospitals should take more diligent steps to contain the spread of Candida Auris once it is identified in the hospital. The prevalence of these outbreaks is evidence of the misuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics are extremely important in helping individuals get over a bacterial infections but antibiotics can be over-prescribed which leads bacteria to become more resistant to the antibiotics that treat it. This creates a problem for doctors to treat this new antibiotic resistant bacteria and fungi because there are few options of antibiotics that will actually work on killing the bacterial infection. This will lead to the need for developing new antibiotics which is a very difficult task. I believe that antibiotic use should be slightly more regulated so that more outbreaks of antibiotic resistant fungi and bacteria do not occur.
Coming to college I did not think it would be much different than high school. I thought I would go to class, study and maybe be involved in some clubs. I was not completely wrong but college was defiantly way different than I expected. While going to class is very important it is not where most of your work takes place. Coming to college it taught me how to manage my time really well so that I was able to get all my work done but also be able to have time to do things I enjoy. I was able to get involved in two clubs which I was really passionate about. With being involved in clubs it taught me leadership and what it really means to work well with other. In many of my classes group work was a large portion of the class which also taught me how to work well in groups but also patience because everyone has different schedules so sometimes things do not get completed as fast as you would like. College also taught me how to work well with other in the aspect of constantly living with people. This has been an amazing experience of being able to live in the same area as people who are so different from me and have such different experiences from me. I have loved having the ability to dive into material that I am really passionate about which makes going to class so much more fun. While classes are extremely important college is not just about class, it is also about making friends and being able to grow. This year I have grown in maturity by learning to live on my own. Growing up I have always been a homebody but coming to college helped me grow and mature to be able to live on my own. The responsibilities that came with this were difficult at first but have been so helpful to me growing and becoming more mature.
This semester I had the opportunity to participate in OSU’s Buckeyethon which is one of Ohio State’s largest philanthropy event. Buckeyethon raises money for pediatric oncology and hematology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This money goes to help with treating current patients but it also goes to funding research to find a cure to oncology and hematology. Being able to spend twelve hours dancing to raise money for the children who are currently suffering and will receive this awful diagnosis was incredibly powerful. During the dance marathon children that are currently battling cancer and blood diseases are able to come and dance with the students participating which was amazing and extremely motivating to see that the money and time that is put into this event is worth every penny to help these children. To be able to experience the moment when the final total money raised was unveiled was incredible. This moment was so special because we had just heard from a family that is being treated at Nationwide and hearing how appreciative they were for the money that was being raise to help support their children. It was incredible to see how many other students were just as passionate and excitied to work towards a goal of raising money to fight against pediatric oncology and hematology. This event was a great opportunity to give me a chance to reflect on my own life and how lucky I am as an individual. It was also amazing to just see the kids get a chance to be away from the hospital and have a great time. This event encouraged me to purse a career in oncology in hopes that a cure can be found and that no child will have to go through treatment for cancer or any blood disease.
In this past semester I have grown tremendously in time management, eating healthier, and learning proper sleep schedules but where I feel like a have grown the most would be in my personality and confidence. Before starting I was very shy and introverted and I did not feel confident to speak up in class or other situations. But since coming to college I have came out of my shell and I am not as shy as I once was. I feel that my confidence in myself has grown where I do not have the nerves that I once had about speaking in class. I was so afraid of getting an answer wrong that I would not participate in large group class discussions but since coming to college I have learned that in order to better learn topics that you do not understand you will have to get answers wrong to better understand how to correctly do the problem or pronoun a certain word. Being more comfortable around people and being less shy has been a great growth for me because it has allowed me to branch out and make new friends but it has allowed me to go outside my comfort zone and begin to network with faculty and older students on campus which has allowed me to get into connections with people that has similar interest as me which could hopefully lead to shadowing opportunities or research positions. I have also learned that in being able to speak up for myself in situations that I do not agree with the decisions being made has allowed me to grow and also understand the importance of being around others that have different opinions and prior experiences than you.
I hope that as I continue to learn in college that I begin to seek out other with different opinions and experiences than myself to allow myself to learn from them and to be able to see situations in the way they do. I hope to continue to become more outgoing to allow for me to continue networking with new people and allowing me to make more friends with the students on campus.
On Wednesday mornings I get the opportunity to go off campus and do science experiments which children that are in low-income situations that would not be able to experience these projects. The program I get to volunteer through is called WOW which stands for Wonders of Our World, which is exactly what it is. This past week, my volunteer team and I went to a first grade classroom to teach the children about magnetism. I was skeptical at first of the station I was running which was to allow the students to predict which object were and were not magnetic. I thought that the children would not enjoy it because it was not as “cool” as the other stations. These children blew my expectations out of the water. Seeing the excitement on their faces when they correctly predicted an item and just their astonishment at magnetism in general was an amazing experience. Also, seeing how the children grew in understanding and tried to redefine what they thought magnets were each time they predicted wrong.
This experience taught me how to lead a group but, from just being around the children I saw the importance of inspiring children in science and showing them all the fascinating things about science. The children also taught me to be amazed by the small things like being able to pick up a metal spoon with a magnet. Being able to teach these children also taught me be patient and to let them grow in their understand by working through what they got incorrect and why that was. Being able to see these kids love for science and love for learning helps me fuel my passion to continue to learn.
When my teacher told my class that we were to build a working prosthetic arm that could pick up multiple cups with different diameters, I thought it was crazy to ask a few high school students to take on the challenge but I was up for it. The group I was in was a great group of hardworking students which I learned in order to be successful you have to have a group surrounding you that will support you and want you to succeed. In this project I learned tools to help me become a better leader and to become more resilient in my work.
My group in building the project was all very indecisive on how to start the project and when which forced me to come out of my comfort zone and take on the role of being a leader. This small leadership role taught me that communication is a major factor in a successful groups, as well as the importance of being able to have control over the situation without being a controlling person because the line is very thin and can easily be crossed. Building this prosthetic arm defiantly taught me how to be resilient because my group failed many times before we succeed. The most difficult part was building a hand that had the right angles, right amount of grip and the right amount of force to grab the cup. Our group went through many different hand prototypes and multiple different materials to make our hand out of and in the end we ended up going with a cardboard base which straws to a grip.
This project was extremely important to me because it taught me so much about the design process by actually experiencing it rather than just learning it but, it also taught me about the importance of being resilient even when you think a project just is not going to work. Building a prosthetic arm caused me to understand the difficulties that come with trying to build a prosthetic arm and the factors you have to consider when designing it like look, comfort and functionality.
This experience brought me way out of my comfort zone not only physically like learning to use power tools but also in a internal discomfort in the fact that I had to come out of my comfort zone and become a leader but also have to gain the mental strength to take on a project that was going to be extremely difficult to complete and was going to have many failed prototypes before creating a successful product. This experience set me apart for others by the fact that it gave me a hands on experience to the design world but also, gives me a background into the world of prosthesis and their importance.
Lauren Griffith is a first year microbiology student who plans on either graduate school or medical school after the completion of her undergraduate degree. Lauren became interested in STEM from a young age. Her mom was a nurse which sparked the interest of viruses and bacteria in her. As Lauren grew up she had many close friends who were diagnosed with cancer. She began to become extremely interested in what causes cancer and how cancer can be cured. Lauren would like to further her education in order to better understand cancer and how it can be treated. Outside of class Lauren is involved in Cru, which is a christian fellowship organization, MED LIFE, which is organization that helps low income people all over the world and a STEM Exploration and Engagement scholars program. Lauren wanted to be a STEM scholar because it provided her with group of people who were interest in similar things as her but she also wanted to help people her community. She wanted to become a STEM scholar as well because it would help her understand more topics outside of her specific major which would help enhance her total knowledge and help her make connections that help span over many different parts of STEM. She wanted to help inspire other people to think about a STEM career just like she had been inspired especially in the younger children since she had been interested in STEM since a young age she wanted to help spark that inspiration in other children.
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