Spartans of UD - Shaye SmithBy University Relations Staff
Spartans of UD highlights what makes the University of Dubuque special - the people.
Shaye Smith, of Oswego, Illinois, is a sophomore biology major. A CREATE (Connecting Research, Experiences, and Application to Engagement) fellow, Smith was one of a handful of UD students who received a Women in Science scholarship.
How did you feel when you learned you were among the 10 to 15 students who receive a Women in Science scholarship annually through the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences?
"There were many emotions which I was experiencing when I found out that I was among the 10 to 15 students who received a Women in Science scholarship through the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences. I felt honored to have the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful program. I was excited to see where this program would take me and what I would learn from it. Most importantly, I felt recognized; I felt seen for the efforts myself and others made to be a part of an academic group which would set us up for amazing opportunities moving forward."
The Women in Science program is a scholarship program for female students to carry out independent research in novel areas of science. What research topic are you are studying?
"I have had the outstanding opportunity to work with Dr. Kelly Grussendorf, associate professor of biology, to study the prevalence of Lyme disease in Dubuque County. Through captured ticks, we study their DNA sequencing to detect Lyme disease. Additionally, we have reviewed studying a connected pathogen causing Babesiosis."
Why was it important to you to participate in research opportunities as an undergraduate student?
"There are many reasons as to why I believe it is important to participate in research opportunities as an undergraduate student. Researching as an undergraduate student allows one to form connections early on in their career to both peers and professors. These connections enrich the college experience as you have others to lean on if need be. Additionally, research allows me to continue to challenge myself with new practices. Research has taught me to be more adaptive to new environments and new research techniques. Finally, research as an undergraduate student introduces skills which could potentially be used in a professional field. This early introduction allows for students to grow more comfortable with experimentation and application of research."
What advice do you have for future Spartans who may be interested in research?
"Some of the best advice I have received, which could be told to future Spartans who may be interested in research, is to always say yes. If a research opportunity presents itself, say yes; apply yourself to the fullest extent to as many opportunities as possible to grow."
In your opinion, what makes the University of Dubuque unique?
"What makes the University of Dubuque unique is its personable environment. Being a part of the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, professors and peers alike are extremely friendly and closely connected to create a family-like environment. Everyone wants the best for one another and are willing to help each other through the best and worst times. The support that I have received from the University of Dubuque community is something I will forever be thankful for."