We are just beginning week third of our summer research. This summer we have three research assistants working in the lab.
Danielle, a Rhode Island native, is a rising senior psychology major and also earning a business studies certificate. She hopes to become a school psychologist. Last summer, she worked at a daycare as a kindergarten teaching assistant and is excited to work in the lab this summer doing a study with kindergarteners!
Emily is a rising senior psychology major with a history minor. She is from Massachusetts and hopes to one day become a speech and language pathologist. She worked this past semester as an intern at the Groden Center, which is a school for children with autism. She looks forward to this summer in the lab and starting her own research project in the fall.
Caitlin is a rising senior psychology major with a French minor in the Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is from New York and loves working with children – having spent time as a nanny and summer camp counselor. She enjoyed taking “Experimental Developmental Psychology” with Dr. Van Reet this past spring and is delighted to work in the lab for the summer doing research.
This summer we look forward to continuing the Caplan study that we have been working on this year. This study is a joint research project with Dr. Van Reet of the psychology department and Dr. Zhang of the education department. The study focuses on investigating the effectiveness of play and guidance in early science learning. We are looking forward to finding new fun ways to recruit participants for our study and can’t wait to have more kindergarteners come in and participate!
We are so excited for the summer in the Kid Think Lab!
-The Kid Think Team
Hello! We are just beginning week third of our summer research. This summer we have three research assistants working in the lab. Danielle, a Rhode Island native, is a rising senior psychology major and also earning a business studies certificate. She hopes to become a school psychologist. Last summer, she worked at a daycare as […]MORE
Hello – My name is Vincent Ndahayo, and I am a rising junior at Providence College. I am from Manchester, NH, and I have five siblings (three sisters and two brothers). I am the second oldest, and I was born in Tanzania. I am a chemistry major, and I am doing research this summer with Dr. Seann Mulcahy in his organic chemistry lab. This is my first blog ever so this is a new thing for me, and I hope you enjoy reading it. I will be updating you throughout the summer on what conducting summer research is like at PC.
Doing summer research has been one of the goals I have wanted to accomplish while I am in college, and I am very thankful for having the opportunity. I have not taken organic chemistry yet, so my experience for the first three weeks in lab have been completely new. I was nervous and anxious about doing research in the lab because I believed that I was going to do something so bad that I would be kicked out of the lab. Or, I would do something embarrassing that I would not be able to show my face lab ever again. However, I was also excited to do work in the lab because I was eager to learn all the joys of research, especially the potential for creating something new to the science community and the world.
My research is centered around making new molecules from scratch. The picture attached to this blog are two reactions I set up. Dr. Mulcahy has explained to me multiple times how the goal of our research this summer is to use new methods to synthesize molecules that can potentially be used as pharmaceuticals. I would like to pursue a career in pharmacy, and I believe doing research this summer will be a step in the right direction.
I am working with five other students this summer. The other members of the research team are: Bianca, the only senior on the team this summer; Gersham, the only returning member from Dr. Mulcahy’s lab group; Matthew, a cool guy; and my classmates from this past year, Yazan and Kyle. I enjoy coming into lab everyday doing work with this group. We all get along well, and we are always playing music in lab so it’s a fun work atmosphere. It’s like a competition every day to see who will play music first. We all have different taste in music so whenever someone plays music, someone is always complaining about the music. For example, Matt is always joking around about Bianca’s music being too aggressive because she plays a lot of hip hop. Then when Matt or Kyle play their country music, Bianca and Yazan complain.
Dr. Mulcahy has been very patient with all of us, especially Kyle, Yazan, and me because he has taught us how to do everything we need to know due to our lack of experience in an organic chemistry lab. He is always around the lab helping everyone out with their projects.
My first three weeks of research have been worthwhile, and I have got to spend them with some great people. Stay tuned for my next blog in where I will explain in more detail about the new experiences and reactions I have learned about in lab. Until next time, have a great day and see you soon!
Vincent Ndahayo ’19
Hello – My name is Vincent Ndahayo, and I am a rising junior at Providence College. I am from Manchester, NH, and I have five siblings (three sisters and two brothers). I am the second oldest, and I was born in Tanzania. I am a chemistry major, and I am doing research this summer with […]MORE
“Eleven? No, we don’t have space. Sorry about that.”
“Not right now, maybe if you come back in about 45 minutes we’ll have more room.”
After facing this response two more times, our chances of finding a place to have lunch were looking bleak, and the growling of our stomachs was growing steadily louder by the minute. That’s what we got for going out to eat on a Bank Holiday in England. Every restaurant and sit-down café along the main road was teeming with families enjoying their long weekends and couples spending their day off of work treating themselves to a lunch date.
As we rounded a corner toward an intersection, we were losing hope of ever finding somewhere that would fit our whole group and were beginning to consider the option of eating separately when we were stopped by our trusty guide Jeff. At long last we had found it: an English Valhalla, an oasis in the middle of our less than dry Grasmere desert, the final salvation at the end of our Dantean journey for sustenance. Before us, hiding beneath the cover of a wide green awning stamped with the word “Lucia’s,” lay a quaint café that seemed relatively empty. The counter was located just within the doorway and two employees were rearranging the rows of sandwiches and pastries that lined the shelves in the café window. Mission accomplished!
Upon our return to the Wordsworth Trust, we were met with an enlarged manuscript on the wall that was covered in markings and edits. Even the title had been changed: “Prelude” had been crossed out and “Recluse” placed in the space below. Jeff, switching with ease from guide to curator, started the discussion with a question: “How many people marked this document?” What started as a seemingly simple question became an extensive discussion about ink heaviness, letter styles, and the history of the text. Our estimates steadily grew from two writers to three then to six until we were finally satisfied that we distinguished every individual who had written on the manuscript. The final six individuals were: the original author Dorothy Wordsworth, alterations by William Wordsworth, titling by John Carter, “1” in the upper right corner by Mary Wordsworth, changing of title to “Recluse” by Gordon Wordsworth, and “7” in the upper right corner by a curator several years later. From there, we made a list of what we can learn from the edits of manuscripts and how they can be analyzed as a window into the history and development of literature. Whether the notes were by William in his textual alterations or by Gordon in his title adjustments, each set of edits gave an insight on how what the writers prioritized and focused their critiques on.
From valiant quests for food to archeological digs through script, it’s safe to say that Grasmere has kept us plenty busy thus far. And, so we forge on once more into the fray.
How many people? Eleven? No, sorry, I don’t think we have enough room” “Eleven? No, we don’t have space. Sorry about that.” “Not right now, maybe if you come back in about 45 minutes we’ll have more room.” After facing this response two more times, our chances of finding a place to have lunch were […]MORE
Maymester in England
A group of English majors recently spent the week abroad in England as part of the Maymester course, Wordsworth in the Lake District. After a week of study at PC, the students traveled to Grasmere, William Wordsworth’s home in the picturesque English Lake District. Below is the first of five daily posts that recap the group’s time in the U.K.
Our first day started with a tour of the area that Wordsworth lived in during his time at Grasmere. Upon our arrival at the Wordsworth Trust, we enjoyed tea time with our instructors and snacked on homemade gingerbread, which is somewhat of a delicacy to locals and others who find out about it. We briefly relaxed as we were informed of the tasks that lie ahead of us throughout the week.
After we finished our tea and snacks, we were given a personal tour of Dove Cottage, the home where Wordsworth composed a large number of his most influential poems. We got to see the very bedroom that he slept in, the kitchen that he ate in, and the garden where he looked out upon the mountain range of Grasmere. This opportunity allowed us to see a more human side of Wordsworth that is often forgotten when one finds himself lost in the genius of Wordsworth’s words. The tour also gave us the opportunity to stand in the very footsteps of a successful poet while looking out onto the nature that inspired him most.
Seeing the beauty of the scenery that surrounds his home from a first-hand perspective makes me understand why he appears so awestruck in his poems. Together we stood at the highest point in Wordsworth’s garden while overlooking the hillside. After we finished in Dove Cottage, we chatted with our instructor, Jeff Cowton, about how to improve the current status of the museum in order to gain a larger crowd of clientele.
Maymester in England A group of English majors recently spent the week abroad in England as part of the Maymester course, Wordsworth in the Lake District. After a week of study at PC, the students traveled to Grasmere, William Wordsworth’s home in the picturesque English Lake District. Below is the first of five daily posts […]MORE
Welcome back, guys!
Well, the biologists won the wiffle ball game 11–10. I, however, think that the chemists had a better spirit, and we should have gotten bonus points for having professors participating on our team.
The last week of research consisted of finishing up summer trials and preparing for research in the fall semester. For many of the researchers, that also included preparing a poster to present at the 9th Annual RI SURF Conference. SURF, or the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, helps undergraduate researchers in Rhode Island fund their summer research, and most research students in Rhode Island come together with faculty and guests to share their work at the end of the summer. I presented my research last year and had a complete blast.
This year, however, I did not make a poster for the conference (we’re saving our findings for the American Chemical Society conference in San Francisco!), but I still made an appearance and learned what everyone was up to in Al Mag this summer. Here’s a picture of the chemistry kids wearing something other than sweatpants for the first time in two months.
I also learned about what the other departments were up to – from tracking circadian rhythms in rats to isolating predatory bacteria, Providence College researchers sure got a lot done!
To celebrate the success of the SURF Conference, Dr. Mulcahy invited the undergraduate research chemists, the professors, and their families to his house for a barbecue/potluck! Even though I made a poor showing by just bringing some lemonade, the day was filled with burgers, homemade guacamole, hot-pockets, and Oreo-themed dessert! We also managed to play a few rounds of Spike-Ball despite our incapacitated stomachs.
Then, unfortunately, it was time to say goodbye to the summer crew; but a goodbye for scientists usually never lasts more than a few weeks! Unlike other fields of study where research occurs primarily in the summertime, research in Albertus Magnus continues year-round. I’ll continue my research with Dr. Breen as well; you won’t be able to kick me out of that lab until I graduate. Looking forward, I’m going to be researching how cell membranes interact with plastic nanoparticles, keeping in line with my ocean-themed research.
To cap off the summer, I’m going to leave you with an insight from one of our chemistry professors that I think captures the essences of what goes on in Friartown when the rest of campus has gone home: “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be research” – Dr. Overly
Research is all about reaching out into uncharted territory in creative and practical ways. You hardly ever know the answer or if there is going to be an answer; and sometimes that can get frustrating, but it’s a small price to pay for being a part of the community set to solve the world’s problems and uncover mysteries that the Earth has left buried for us to find.
Thanks to everyone who kept up with my adventures in and out of the lab in the summer. If you need to find me, I’ll be reading science-y books and lounging by my pool until they let me back in the Fall!
Welcome back, guys! Well, the biologists won the wiffle ball game 11–10. I, however, think that the chemists had a better spirit, and we should have gotten bonus points for having professors participating on our team. The last week of research consisted of finishing up summer trials and preparing for research in the fall semester. […]MORE