This summer has been a blast. There just aren’t enough words to describe how grateful I am to the McKearns for providing us with this awesome experience. Through the funding they provided and programming they helped plan, I’ve been able to do research on a topic that can have a major impact on the world and develop my leadership and professional skills at the same time. This experience could be described as truly world class because it not only advanced me through my field to get hands-on experience, but it also made me more aware of social, civic, and global issues and events. I have learned that having a schedule is really important when keeping up with the workload because it keeps you accountable and gets the job done in a timely manner. It is also a good thing to leave room for errors in the schedule because I did indeed need more time to carefully test and debug my model during its simulation process. After going through research a second time, I feel much more confident in writing research papers and creating poster presentations. Looking ahead at the Summer Research Symposium, I feel both a familiarity of having done something like this before, but at the same time I feel the nervousness of having to present a totally different research topic from before.
With all that is ahead of me, I can’t wait to obtain the engineering knowledge I need to take on real-world problems that I would not have been able to solve with my current knowledge level. Now that we have a better picture of what this summer has been like, careful planning and scheduling can definitely take the McKearn Fellowship Program even further beyond what we could have possibly imagined.