Newman University student Camden Hoover participated in a highly competitive research experience over the past summer at Portland State University (PSU). The research focused on nano-materials and electron microscopy. The research program immerses students in a multidisciplinary environment and also prepares them for earning advanced degrees.
The experience of working in an advanced facility and performing her own research was heightened when The Research Experience at PSU offered to provide Camden with her housing and a stipend. Hoover was thrilled with how accommodating the program was.
Camden was first made aware of the program by Kylie Hicks, assistant professor of biology at Newman and PSU alumna.
During her time at PSU, Hoover spent a large amount of time in the lab. “I spent around seven or eight hours in the lab, seven days a week. Usually, students on a research experience like mine spend about five hours a day in the lab five days a week,” Hoover said. She said that her work meant so much to her that it was difficult to spend time away from it.
When Hoover applied for the research experience at PSU, she had already been considering other programs. Her choice came down to the recommendation of Hicks.
Hoover’s research at PSU centered on discovering a way to bring better diagnostic technology to rural and secluded areas, specifically to test for the presence of soil-transmitted helminths.
Hoover elaborated, “These parasites are common in remote locations and residents of these locations. Unfortunately, most people are not able to get the medical attention they need because they are unable to receive a diagnosis.”
Hoover found this work extremely important. She was also very grateful for the opportunity to be paid to conduct research in a laboratory environment.
According to Hoover, “Everyone should be able to have an opportunity like this. Working in a professional field and doing research that matters in the real world is so rewarding. I learned how to be comfortable and independent in the lab, and it definitely helped prepare me for grad school.”
Hoover said she was happy that Newman could prepare her to take part in such a competitive research program.
She plans to complete her studies at Newman early and graduate in December 2018 and then return to PSU for graduate studies. Hoover mentioned she would love to return to Newman to teach as a professor of biology.
“I would love to come back to the place that influenced me the most and helped me find such a great opportunity.”