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The Best Laid Plans

Gabriel Ivan Vega Bellido's picture

I had been looking forward to celebrating my birthday with my family and friends for the first time in three years and comfortably working on finishing the paper I'd been writing for the last 5 months, but due to the strike I had somehow ended up on a plane to New York with no place to stay for the next two months. My job for the last two weeks had been frantically searching for a place to fit me and my two companions for our impromptu stay in New York. I thought I had figured it all out until the graduate student who would be lending us his apartment called me two days before my trip to let me know his roommate had rented out the room without telling him...

Halfway a Powder-ful Summer Experience

Nadja Michelle Maldonado Luna's picture

My name is Nadja M. Maldonado Luna. I am a second year Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus. From the moment, I decided to apply for this REU experience I knew that it was going to be an interesting adventure both academically and personally. I knew I was going to have to face some big challenges. The UPR system went on strike early April, so a summer internship would mean for me, to risk finishing my classes to be able to have an experience that would certainly benefit both my present as an undergraduate student and my future as a professional.  So far, I’ve met amazing people, from my fellow REU mates and now friends, to my mentor and advisor. All these people have been making my summer a remarkable one.

¡Tan Muchos Primeros! (So Many "Firsts!")

Brittany Nelson's picture

            Guess who got to put out a REAL fire with a fire extinguisher for the first time? I did! There are so many other "firsts" that I have experienced here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, both related and unrelated to my research.

            I was excited to learn that I would be spending my summer in Madison because I had never been to Wisconsin. Unlike my hometown, Madison has beautiful lakes that enhance the city. The university is full of life, even in the summer, and overflowing with people who are thrilled about learning.

Science is Hard

Patrick Stefan Soltis's picture

Science is exciting. Fact. We know this is true because, since science is also difficult, nobody would bother doing science if not for the excitement. They’d pick something that pays better and lets you leave right at 5 pm every day. You could not show me a scientist who is never stimulated while inventing a new theory, ecstatic when experimental evidence proves conclusive, motivated to solve one of society’s great problems, or enthralled when learning about the mysteries of the universe.

The path to a great start in research development

Alex Mora's picture

Greetings! My name is Alex Mora. I am a sophomore student in Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus. During this summer, I’ve had the joy of participating of the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Reconfigurable and Multifunctional Soft Materials program at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. I am fairly shy person. However, I did not want my shyness to be an obstacle in my career. Therefore, I decided to challenge myself into applying to this research experience for undergraduates, and I’m glad I did. The experience overall has been wonderful, I have made lots of friends and learned many things along the way. As an Industrial Biotechnology major, I found very interesting the programs focus on soft materials.

A summer of learning

Joseph Alexander Monarres's picture

This summer, I decided to throw myself into an increadable and challenging experiance. An experiance full of new information, a new culture, a new environment, a new language. This summer internship got off to a flying start with a brief detour in New York City, where I first met my mentor and the other student who would be working in the same field as me. Due to the strikes at UPR, this is where we were originally planning to do our research, however, the complications of trying to find an affordable living space in New York proved to be too great. Luckily the strikes had ended by the time we arrived in NYC, so we decided to continue on our way to Puerto Rico.

In the middle of an awesome experience

Alondra Y Muniz's picture

I first knew about this REU in Soft Matter by seeing propaganda around campus. As a curious fact, I never thought of applying because I had other research plans for the summer. Later, a friend motivated me and made me see what a fantastic opportunity I was missing out on. I realized that he was right and decided to apply since I’ve always been interested in materials and their wide range of applications in the different fields. Around mid-March I received the notice that I was accepted in the program and so my journey began. I was assigned to work in the characterization of type-1 collagen matrixes modified with iron oxide nanoparticles for modulation of cell behavior.

My first half in UPRM's Reconfigurable & Multifunctional Soft Materials REU

Carlos Alberto Huang Zhu's picture

Hello, I’m Carlos Huang, a chemical engineering sophomore at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. A month ago, UPRM’s Reconfigurable and Multifunctional Soft Materials began. It is a 10-week research program in which undergrads work with scientists and engineers from several departments studying new multifunctional materials that can operate away from equilibrium. Some examples are artificial peptides, solid-like liquid crystals, and nanoparticles. 

Jumping into a Summer of New Experiences

Austin John Dosh's picture

I dove headfirst into this summer not knowing what to expect. It is hard to believe that one month ago I was stepping off a plane in Puerto Rico not knowing anyone. Over the past four weeks, I have made friendships and professional research connections that will last a lifetime. I came to Puerto Rico knowing very little about what sorts of adventures this summer would hold. Due to the strike within the UPR system at the time, everyone was feeling their fair share of uncertainty regarding the summer’s plans. I am incredibly grateful for all the steps that were taken to accommodate for such circumstances and to provide us all with the best experience possible; it has been incredible.

Which makes us feel like a family

Taylor Dawn Graham's picture

This has been a wonderful summer full of being out of my comfort zone, trying new food and living a different life style. This is also my last summer as an undergraduate student. I will be graduating from the College of Saint Benedict this December with a chemistry major and a mathematic minor.


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