Engaged Scholar: Jeffrey Chen
When I first came to Texas Tech University as a freshman 4 years ago, it was a bit overwhelming. There were probably more people in my General Chemistry class then my entire high school class. I certainly didn't want to raise my hand in the middle of class to ask how to get involved in research. I was literally a lost freshman with so many questions. That's where TTU's Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement came in. I was able to get my questions answered on a personal level, and after learning about the various research options TTU had to offer, I ended up applying for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at TTU.
I have gained so much through getting involved in research at Texas Tech. While I had been struggling to find a professor that I could do research with, as an HHMI scholar, I had a list of different research professors from both the undergraduate campus and the Health Sciences Center to choose from. I ultimately found the perfect match, Dr. Mark Vaughn from the Department of Chemical Engineering. I was drawn to the impact our research can potentially have on the medical field. By improving the accuracy of diagnostic devices used in the medical field, we hope to provide patients with diagnostic and treatment plans that can cater to their own genome. In addition to working on an incredible research project, I have also had the privilege to serve as the Co-President for the Student Service Organization, the community outreach arm of HHMI.
This past year we were able to help host events such as the Robotics Fair, to get 500 elementary school kids excited about research, engineering, and science in general. I will be starting medical school this fall at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. Being literally a stone throw's distance away, I know that I will continue to keep HHMI and my research close to my heart. Personally, it's been an amazing experience, one that I could not have imagined four years ago.
If you haven't already noticed, Texas Tech offers so many life-changing opportunities. You just have to go out and search for them. With CALUE your work just became a lot easier. If you are even slightly interested in research or want to find out more about it, don't just sit around. Give them a call, go visit them, or if you are on the computer a lot, check out their website and Facebook page.