I am Risa Takenaka, a senior here at PC, and I will be blogging about my research experience this summer. Between my unique sense of humor and lighthearted writing style, I hope my posts can emulate that of a professional blogger – an unlikely goal considering the two sentences above took me a few hours to formulate, but I will keep my spirits high for the time-being.
Before I tell you about the nuts and bolts of my research in philosophy with Dr. Arroyo, here are some things you should know about me. I’d call them fun facts, but they’re truly not that fun:
- I was born in Japan, raised in Missouri, and, somehow, ended up here in Providence, Rhode Island. I visited Tokyo this winter break where my entire extended family still lives and had the time of my life.
- I am majoring in applied physics and minoring in philosophy and math. I know, this screams “I am really indecisive and couldn’t fully commit to one thing.” Not surprisingly, this seems to be a recurring theme in other areas of my life.
- My sister is a Friar, too! She claimed all throughout high school that she would not even consider going to college with me. Then she followed me here – all the way from Missouri.
- I was in Ghana last week. I went on the Maymester trip despite a rocky start – my passport and visa were MIA until 10 days before my departure, and I was also told my malaria medicine would come in on time – and made it there and back safely against all odds. It was amazing, and I could not have asked for a better beginning to my summer.
- I really love to eat. I am one hungry girl, and I somewhat pride myself in how much I eat, except when I am at dinner parties eating my eighth plate when everyone else has already moved on to dessert.
That’s probably enough for now. So now the real question: Philosophy research? What does that even mean?
I have an answer! Kind of. As I explained above, I am a Japanese citizen who has been living in America as a permanent resident for the past two decades. During my childhood spent in Missouri, I had a rich exposure to American ideologies and culture from my peers and community, and this has continued on with my college education here in the States. But, I have also had my fair share of a Japanese twist on my upbringing.
Growing up, I couldn’t help but notice the contrast between my parents’ teaching philosophies and those of my American counterparts. This fascination resurfaced when I visited Japan this winter and noticed the immense differences in early childhood education as well. What is the reason for this – why do America and Japan nurture and teach their young children so differently? My ongoing curiosity for this concept has prompted me to take on the challenge of answering this question this summer. Working closely with Dr. Arroyo from the Philosophy department, I will be researching how the collectivist and individualist tendencies of Japanese and American culture, respectively, inform values and normative standards regarding the “correct” way to raise children in each country.
With this research opportunity, I will analyze what specific values are at work in each ethical framework and how these translate to practical differences in raising and teaching young children. Additionally, I hope to write a piece that can bridge some of the gaps in knowledge of the ways in which culturally influenced value systems influence, simply put, “the way things are done” in different areas of the world.
Hello All! I am Risa Takenaka, a senior here at PC, and I will be blogging about my research experience this summer. Between my unique sense of humor and lighthearted writing style, I hope my posts can emulate that of a professional blogger – an unlikely goal considering the two sentences above took me a […]MORE
Hello everyone! We are Amy Conte, Grace Grimaldi, and Colin Scano, biology and biochemistry majors who work in Dr. Cornely’s lab thanks to the funding of Walsh Fellowships and Undergraduate Research Award grants. We are excited to share our work on knocking out genes in viral DNA and constructing recombinant plasmids. We hope that our research will contribute to the growing field of phage therapy — a promising method that uses mutant phages to treat bacterial diseases, such as tuberculosis. Before we get into the science, we would like to focus our first post on introducing ourselves.
Colin: I am a senior biochemistry major at Providence College. In the rare times I am not studying, I like to fill my free time with friends, playing piano, and reading. This is my first summer doing research for Dr. Cornely, so I am very excited to complete our project.
Grace: I will be a senior this fall, and I am a biology major and a math minor. Elsewhere on campus, I’m on the club field hockey team. I’m so excited to be working this summer with Colin and Amy on creating mutant phages!
Amy: I am an upcoming senior biochemistry major/math minor from South Kingstown, Rhode Island. At PC, I am a research student, teaching assistant, the treasurer of Sigma Xi, and a volunteer for the StepUP mentoring program. Outside of doing schoolwork, I enjoy running, listening to music, traveling, and going to the beach.
We hope you check back throughout the summer to see what we’re up to!
Hello everyone! We are Amy Conte, Grace Grimaldi, and Colin Scano, biology and biochemistry majors who work in Dr. Cornely’s lab thanks to the funding of Walsh Fellowships and Undergraduate Research Award grants. We are excited to share our work on knocking out genes in viral DNA and constructing recombinant plasmids. We hope that our […]MORE
It’s been a week since I finished summer research and life is different. It feels weird not being in the lab every day. I miss all the fun moments I had in the lab with the research team. I miss listening to hip-hop and R&B while working up a reaction. I miss getting lunch with my lab mates almost every day. Bianca, Matt, Gersham, Kyle, Yazan & I became so close that we all developed a special bond. We became so comfortable with each other that we would talk about anything. I would look forward to our lunch dates every day. We went to a lot of great restaurants Providence has to offer like The Abbey, Anthony’s, and many others on Thayer St., like East Side Pockets.
In the last few weeks of research, our biggest adventure was the 10th Annual Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Conference at the University of Rhode Island. The SURF program funds most of the research conducted over the summer throughout Rhode Island. In turn, researchers funded by SURF attend the conference and present their work. Our group presented our work by assembling a poster containing all the projects we worked on this summer. The conference was great because the team and I got to present all our hard work and got to see many other chemists, biologists, and biochemists. We were also hands-down the best dressed group at the conference! See the picture for yourself. We kept on receiving compliments from multiple people on how well dressed we were. It was nice to get dressed up and not wear sweatpants all day for once.
I am close to finishing my project which is a-carboline synthesis. I completed the final step of my project the day before the conference, and I produced high yields! Although summer research is over, that doesn’t mean my research is over. I plan on continuing my research in the fall. I’m looking forward to completing my project and all the chemistry that awaits me in the year to come! I’d like to thank Dr. Mulcahy and the Providence College Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for granting me the opportunity do research this summer. I have learned a lot, and I can’t wait to continue learning in the upcoming semester. I’d also like thank all of you for reading my blog and keeping up with all the exciting events that happened this summer.
It’s been a week since I finished summer research and life is different. It feels weird not being in the lab every day. I miss all the fun moments I had in the lab with the research team. I miss listening to hip-hop and R&B while working up a reaction. I miss getting lunch with my lab mates almost every […]MORE
We are officially halfway through our summer research! We have been having a lot of fun in the lab working with kindergarteners. Our study focuses on early science learning, and how best to teach it. Specifically, we are concentrating on light. We are having a blast shining flashlights under tables, looking into dark boxes for toys, and playing with lasers and baking soda (there may or may not be baking soda permanently mashed into the carpet). The kids have a great time, and the parents are happy for the free babysitting for half an hour.
Along with all the fun aspects of conducting research, we have also learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes work of what actually goes on. In Developmental Psychology research it is difficult to recruit participants, so we have been sending many emails, creating ads, and maintaining social media accounts (shameless plug: if you know any five year olds, please send them our way!). On days we don’t have children coming in, we are entering data into the computer, transferring videos, and coming up with new ways to test our hypothesis. One thing we have really learned is the importance of trial and error. At the moment, we are redesigning the study to better manipulate our intended variables.
In addition to our regular day to day work, last week we had the opportunity to do an Instagram takeover for the Friargram account. We were able to show people our lab, our favorite spots to eat lunch, and even a trip to Home Depot to buy supplies. It was a great way to show people what it is that we do, and hopefully show future student researchers what a fantastic opportunity it is.
For the upcoming weeks, we have several things to look forward to. Soon we will be bringing our study into a preschool! This will allow us to collect a lot of data in a short amount of time. However, it will also be difficult, and we need to make some modifications to the study to make sure it’s applicable (we have nightmares of five year olds running around shining lasers in each other’s eyes). Also, we are looking forward to the Annual RI SURF Conference. SURF, or the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, is a place where students can come together with other researchers and guests to share their summer work. We are excited to present what we are doing, and also see what other students are up to. Being involved in the sciences is a great way to learn through community.
Until next time!
The Kid Think Team
Hi friends! We are officially halfway through our summer research! We have been having a lot of fun in the lab working with kindergarteners. Our study focuses on early science learning, and how best to teach it. Specifically, we are concentrating on light. We are having a blast shining flashlights under tables, looking into dark […]MORE
It’s finally starting to feel like summer here in Friartown. The sun is out, the days are longer, and everyone wants to be at the beach! For the first couple weeks of research, it was raining and always cold outside, as if it were October. One of my lab mates, Yazan, who is from Jordan, asked us in lab one day “Is this how summer is here in Rhode Island?” We told him that the weather we experienced the first few weeks of research was very unusual, especially for May and June. We also told Yazan that New England weather is very unpredictable and to always be ready for anything.
I have completed my first five weeks of research and I feel like the time is flying by. I feel like 2017 is flying by, and I will be graduating in no time. Now that I am halfway done with summer research, I now have a good feel for the lab and I know where almost everything is. I run experiments on my own, and Dr. Mulcahy does not have to shadow everything I do anymore. It feels great to do the work on my own and to know that whenever I have questions Dr. Mulcahy, is around to help. In the remaining five weeks, I will be running completely new chemical reactions and doing completely new science. I’m excited to be doing new science and it is one of the many joys of research. Be on the lookout for some new chemistry coming your way soon!
On another note, there is a lot of construction happening on campus this summer, but the project I’m most excited about is the construction of the new science complex. When I walk to lab every day, I pass the construction site and see all the hard work being done. In fact, where my lab is located, I have a perfect view of all the construction that is happening to the science complex. However, it can be frustrating to work while there is construction. One time I was trying to weigh out one of my reagents for a reaction and I could not get a steady number for the weight. It was due to the construction workers who were taking out a sidewalk and causing the ground to shake. Then, one other time this summer the construction triggered the fire alarm and everyone had to evacuate the building. Minor things like that are not a big deal because when the science complex will be finished, it will all be worth it in the end. The science complex will open fall 2018 – the fall semester of my senior year. I’m looking forward to working in the new labs and doing work in the new complex.
Hello everyone, It’s finally starting to feel like summer here in Friartown. The sun is out, the days are longer, and everyone wants to be at the beach! For the first couple weeks of research, it was raining and always cold outside, as if it were October. One of my lab mates, Yazan, who […]MORE