Friday, November 19, 2010

SURSCA Gala pt. 2

As promised, here is the low-down on the SURSCA Gala that I presented at last night.

For starters, it was fantastic. I can tell because my voice was shot from explaining my poster so many times. This is a very good thing. It means, in addition to me having my first chance to explain my work to other students, that there were people actually interested in the event. Actually, I think I'm just excited by the fact that there were people there at all. I probably would have been happy if a bus-full of catatonics showed up; I was just happy to actually present for once. Obviously, I've got a bigger picture in mind as well. Even if the students' interest was largely fueled by extra credit assignments that are assigned by every teacher on my campus who is involved in research, I'm not too upset. My school is very much a suitcase school, and it's a small miracle to get a large portion of the student body involved in anything that isn't graded or accompanied with some form of food. Honestly, that's a large part of the reason I get so excited when students do show interest in things like research or clubs. Underneath my socially-awkward and spaztic facade hides someone that actually gives a damn about these things. And a pocket protector.

Tim (Morris) 1
Speaking of giving a damn, did you know that the University of Wisconsin - River Falls (Hah! My school has a name now!) is known as a "power" of undergraduate research and scholarly activities? Neither did I until last night. For a school sometimes nicknamed, "Moo-U" this is a surprising turn of events. I didn't know this when I first came to UWRF, but apparently SURSCA (which is a student group led by the good-looking guy to the left) and the school administration have been really encouraging research and other scholarly activities on campus since 2003. 

This work appears to have paid off. Last year's NCUR, held in Missoula, Montana, saw a majority of students from UWRF. Technically, we were the third largest group there, but we also teamed up with other Minnesotan and Wisconsin schools to charter our own jet to get there.

Dr. Lyden
Don't quote me, but the jet may have been the idea of the guy beneath guy #1. Ironically, both are named Tim, although one has a Ph.D and would probably skin me alive if I ever forgot it. Considering all he's done for the college and for me possibly, I'd have to let him get away with it. On a more serious note, the work Dr. Lyden is doing with cell and tissue culture is mind-blowing. I've been blessed to work in the lab attached to his for almost a year now. While it kind of looks like a cross between a bomb-shelter and an attic, our labs tend to grow on you. Sometimes literally. For example, I get to borrow his equipment and contend with the severe weather alarm that he locks up at really inconvenient times (although these times are usually when most people are sleeping - late night research is fun).

I've also gotten to see all sorts of amazing projects.

Unfortunately, if I was responsible for IP theft in his lab, there 
would be no probabilities regarding how skinned I became, so I'll let you look it up on your own with the promise of awesome.

[As a small note, my fear for IP security is a large part of the reason I was so paranoid about using the actual name of the school/my proffessors/etc. earlier. I've got the rules worked out now, which is a relief.]

C. Hunter
Also, check out this guy's work. I spent the summer  working/befriending him, and it was time well spent. At least I think it worked out well, as we both seem to have inherited the "Really Big Dork" gene and were able to geek-out about far too many things together.
I'm also just really impressed by him. A few days before the SURSCA Gala, he returned from a research conference in Charlotte, NC with my P.I. Dr. Huang. I believe he has even gotten around to writing up a manuscript of his research, which can be a real bear of a task. Basically, you should keep an eye on him, for he is going places.

All tangents aside, the Gala was a great experience. If you didn't go, shame on you. Go next year. Please.

No comments:

Post a Comment