When I first arrived at UT Austin, I was overwhelmed. The university was so big. There were so many new techniques to learn. I had to integrate myself into a new group of people I had never known. I had never been away from home for an extended period of time. For someone still new to college and scientific research, it was overwhelming. After the first week, it was smoother sailing. I made new friends and went on exciting adventures in the city of Austin. Research was still a challenge throughout my summer experience, but challenges and difficulties are how people develop and grow. I was constantly problem solving and thinking of what I could do to improve my experiment. I learned a lot from my ten-week period here.
I didn’t just learn new research skills, I learned new life skills.
I will carry this new knowledge and continue to build upon it as I continue my college career.
The research I did here was great and will help propel me forward, but the real fun came in exploring the city of Austin with great new people. This city has so much to offer. There was something interesting and exciting around every corner. Even in ten weeks there still wasn’t enough time to experience everything Austin has to offer. I think the experience was elevated more because of the new people around me. Everyone had something to bring to the table and they created a sense of belonging in this new community we joined. Overall the summer experience was a lot of work and a lot of fun. It was worth every second.
Andrew Rios, University of Texas at El Paso
My name is Gabby. I wanted to start off this letter first by saying thank you for your support and your dedication toward fighting cancer. The Texas 4000 program is a big part of what makes research experiences like mine and my coworkers’ possible, and the number of lives you touch through your efforts is incredible. So, for that I’d like to say thank you.
Secondly, I wanted to say congratulations on making it this far. You’re almost there! Even though I’ve never been on a biking expedition like yours, I know that it’s easy to fall into the routine of things and not realize how much you’ve accomplished. So, I invite you to take a moment to look back on this summer’s experiences and reflect on what you’ve learned and achieved. (I learned how to culture macrophages in gels for experiments.)
I hope you are all doing well, and I wish you luck during these last few days to Anchorage. Thank you for all you do!
Gabby Pérez-Lozano, Carnegie Mellon University