2021 Young Scholars Program: Week 3

Last week marks the third week of the Young Scholars Program and the halfway point for our students!

Students engaged with more Northeastern professors on their current research endeavors. This week’s seminars were led by Loretta Fernandez (Man-Made Chemicals and the Environment) and Tovah Day (DNA Sequences).

In addition, students also participated in a Co-op/STEM Panel with three current Northeastern students: Natasha Zaarour, Tyree Thompson, and Saul Blain.

Natasha is a third-year student studying Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Global Health on the Pre-Med track. She is currently on her first co-op at Massachusetts General Hospital as a research assistant in the Pediatric Epilepsy department working with different dietary therapies to treat various seizure disorders. Natasha has been working in the Center for STEM Education for 2 years, including as a YSP coordinator in the summer of 2020.

Tyree is a senior studying Bioengineering with a concentration in Cell and Tissue engineering. She is a transfer student from Clark Atlanta University through the S-POWER cohort and has been in multiple research experiences, such as a co-op in the Addressed Drug Delivery Research (ADDRES) Lab with Dr. Rebecca Carrier, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease research with Dr. Eno Ebong, and colon cancer research at UCLA. Tyree is also a current REU-POWER coordinator.

Saul is a senior studying Electrical Engineering. He has gained a lot of experiential learning experience throughout his time at Northeastern, including working at SimpliSafe as a Firmware Engineer Co-op, an REU program on Nanotechnology at Columbia University, and working at Avolta Energy, a solar energy company, in San Jose, Costa Rica. Also, Saul is a current REU-POWER student working in Professor Aatmesh Shrivastava‘s lab on Radio Frequency Energy Harvesting Circuits.

All three students are actively involved in various organizations and extracurricular activities, and the YSP students were very interested in their experiences with the co-op program and STEM fields. Students asked questions like:

  • Tyree and Saul: “How did you know you wanted to be an engineer before entering college?”
  • Natasha: “How did you determine whether a college had a good pre-med environment for you? What specific resources or metrics did you find useful?”

To wrap up the middle week of the program, the YSP scholars got to meet with three YSP alumni: Erin O’Neill (YSP 2011), MaryBeth Rockett (YSP 2016), and Cameron Young (YSP 2016).

Following her experience in the Young Scholars Program, Erin went on to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Physics at Northeastern University and┬áreceived her Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University. Erin is now an Evaluation and Test engineer at GE Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio.

MaryBeth is pursuing a BS/MS in Bioengineering with a concentration in Medical Devices and Bioimaging at Northeastern University. She is set to graduate in December 2021 and is currently working at Lyra Therapeutics as a part-time R&D engineer.

Cameron is a fifth-year senior studying Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry at Northeastern University. Currently, he is working as a clinical research assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital. Cameron’s presentation can be viewed here.

The alumni shared their college journeys and their experiences in industry, research, co-op, and more. Their invaluable pieces of advice on taking risks, learning from every opportunity, and being your own advocate were greatly appreciated by the YSP scholars. Here are some of the questions that the students asked during the panel:

  • Erin: “How did you ultimately find your passion/what you like to do now? Would you say it was more trial/error or did you seek out something specific?”
  • MaryBeth: “You mentioned in your video that after your first co-op it kind of taught you have to learn better in your classes, could you talk about that a bit more?”
  • Cameron: “I know that there are various variants of Covid around the world now and I was wondering whether you had patients with the same Covid variant or different ones?”

Mark Casto’s “Engineering Design Process” Activity

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