Student Perspective: Mélanie Eckersley-Maslin

Melanie Eckersley-Maslin

Graduating Class of 2014

Undergraduate: University of Sydney (Australia)

George A. and Marjorie H. Anderson Fellow

The Fall term was one of the most challenging and rewarding semesters I have taken. In just four months we covered different aspects of the biological sciences in a completely new light. The Specialized Disciplines (SD) course allowed us to go into depth into specific topics we were otherwise not too familiar with, and the Scientific Ethics and Exposition (SEE) course developed our communication and ethical skills as new scientists.

My favorite part of the program was the Scientific Reasoning and Logic (SRL) component which taught us how to think critically and for ourselves. We had weekly discussions on a wide variety of scientific papers with different members of the faculty who were amazing. The professors were so dedicated and passionate about teaching us it was impossible not to be caught up in the excitement of the semester. In addition to the faculty, the wide range of backgrounds of our classmates meant that we could learn a lot from each other through discussions and group work.

The final two weeks of SRL were my favorite in the whole semester where we formed a mock grant study section and sat down with real NIH grants covering all the topics we had studied throughout the semester, and analyzed and scored them just like real study sections do. The courses were very intense and challenging but extremely rewarding. I'm still amazed at how much I learnt and developed as a scientist in such a short period of time.