Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

February 26, 2007 9:03 PM

Hmm...role models

At this stage of my college career, when I'm finally settling on a career path that I'll actually stick with, the role models that have affected me are becoming much clearer...

My parents have, without doubt, played major roles in molding my character and personal attributes. Despite how much I try to be unique and different from them, I acquired so many traits from them: my interest in the sciences supposedly "comes" from Dad, while my more linguistic side comes from Mom. Their ultra-healthy home cooked meals gave me an interest in nutrition. Regardless, they have served as points of reference for me, as "unrecognized" role models whose traits I have subconsciously internalized.

The people who have played the greatest role in developing my interest in science are Dr. Rasheed and Joel Sachs. I started at Dr. Rasheed's lab as a high school student, when I signed up for a research apprenticeship program run by USC. She was the one who personally taught me how to culture cells, actually read scientific papers, and to make connections between what I learned in class to what I did in lab. My experience at the lab affirmed my interest in research, which led me to work at the Simms lab here at Berkeley, where I work under the postdoc Joel to analyze mutualisms between plants and N-fixing bacteria. Both Joel and Dr. Rasheed have shown me just how interesting research can be, and that a student's experience in the laboratory is often dictated by the kind of people he/she works with.

There are several other key role models in my life. During sophomore year, I had an awesome GSI for an English R1B class that led me to minor in the subject. I interned with an opthalmologist who gave me an in-depth look into his work, which led to consider research in the medical field. And my high school bio teacher, who was awesome, pretty much set my mind on an undergrad major related to biology.

Perhaps I'm just really impressionable, and many people can easily influence my interests. However, I do believe that we all have numerous role models, if we only dig deeper into ourselves to find them. Let us PALS know about your role models by dropping by our office hours (yes, that was an unabashed plug).


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