On March 26 at the Ohio Union, I attended the Undergraduate Research Fair as my IA Academic Credit. For this event, I went through four rows of research posters and tried to talk to as many of the research students as I could. Each student that I approached summarized their project by describing their purpose, methods, results, and overall significance of the project. The projects ranged from being related to social experiments, most effective learning techniques, advertising strategies, and computer programing to projects pertaining to certain genes in cancer cells.
This event really helped me feel less overwhelmed when applying for research. I have been interested in applying for a research position at a few different labs, but I felt really intimidated by how many options there were and how outspoken you need to be when applying. Talking to several students and just hearing about how they got involved in research really inspired me to take initiative and look into the topics that I am genuinely interested in, even if it does not pertain to my major or future plans (which is what the majority of them suggested). I also got to meet several other Pre-Optometry students who provided really helpful feedback when asked about certain classes to take and organizations that they are involved in to prepare for applying to graduate school. Although this topic does not directly relate to international affairs, research is extremely important in new developments for cures for global diseases and infections.
Currently I am taking a Behavioral Neuroscience course (Psych 3313), and many of the research projects related to topics we have discussed in class. For example, golgi staining of brain sectioning to see visually determine the higher concentration of neurons was utilized in several projects. Additionally, many of the regions of the brains discussed, I was very familiar with their functions and locations. One of the studies that especially resonated with me was one about testing the effect of dancing classes on Autistic children. I thought this project was extremely unique because the woman who I spoke with was a Dance and Neuroscience double major, and this experiment was a perfect combination of both of her interests. She came up with the idea herself and went to different resources on campus to receive funding to carry out this testing. Since Autistic individuals really struggle with their spacial perceptions and motor abilities, she wanted to see if dance classes from a young age would be beneficial in teaching Autistic children some of these skills. The results of her experiment showed that these dance classes were very effective in helping these children develop these skills that are primarily very difficult to combat at older ages. I was especially inspired by her experiment because it was one way of her giving back to the community and helping individuals who are at a physical disadvantage when it comes to sports and other athletic events. Additionally, the results were very promising when it comes to room for more research in this topic.
Overall, I am really thankful that I had the opportunity to speak with so many bright research students because each one of their projects was very unique and significant for future findings.