During this internship I worked with multiple professionals at a laboratory at NCSU.  My main mentor was Dr. Nevzorov, the PI of the chemistry lab.  However, most of my time was spent with the two post-docs who were also working there that summer.

One of the post-docs I worked with, now Dr. Deanna Tesch, wanted to enter into the teaching profession after she graduated.  I greatly appreciated her explanations (including annotated diagrams on the whiteboard) about how she came upon her major research questions, how she decided what methods to use, and how she used problem solving to find answers to her questions.  This gave me a lot of insight into the research process that I was missing previously.

I would have liked to work more with my mentors than I did.  Dr. Nevzorov himself, as a PI, had many other obligations to consider and was traveling frequently to collaborate with others in his field.  And since Dr. Tesch was finishing up her graduate work and left the lab halfway through my internship, I ended up splitting my internship time between her and the other post-doc.

I do plan to use my mentors as contacts when I need experts in the field to answer my own (or student generated) questions.  I also am considering inviting one of them to give a talk once I teach AP biology next school year.  This year unfortunately my biology classes don’t have the background knowledge to be able to appreciate and understand their research.

Kenan Mentor

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