Undergraduate Institution: University of Puerto Rico
Fellowship: Leslie C. Quick Jr. Fellow William Randolph Hearst Scholar
As appears to be the case with many other students, the first time that I heard about Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory was in one of my science classes, while I was an undergraduate. I remember that in the discussions that concerned CSHL there always remained an aura about the lab and all the history it carried with it. This, together with the amazing cutting edge research that is being done currently at CSHL, drove me to apply to the Undergraduate Research Program. Although I must admit that at the beginning I felt a little intimidated because of the Lab's reputation, after spending the Summer here, I knew I wanted my connection to CSHL to be more than just a brief experience. Two years later I was able to come back as a WSBS graduate student. To me, one of the main attractions of the program is its intimacy and the relationships this allows you to develop. During your first year, the entire incoming class lives in two houses that are right across the street from each other. It’s a very special living arrangement that allows you to get to know and understand your new colleagues very well. Not only is the living arrangement enjoyable, because you can hang out together, but it also promotes studying as a group. During the first semester classes can be very challenging and it is an important advantage to have friends who are willing to help and support you. Also, since the program promotes group study and discussion, we were always working together. In this way, everyone could benefit from each other's areas of expertise. Even after classes finished and we begun working in different laboratories, I always knew who I could call upon to help me out with a specific technique. This asset is something that I believe is only possible in a small program like WSBS. So far, not only have we learned a tremendous amount in our short time here, but it has also been a great deal of fun and one of the must rewarding experiences of my life.