Some how we have arrived at April 9th. That means another academic year is almost over (and junior research leave is too! AH) and another set of students are graduating. I feel a special connection with the class of 2018 because I arrived on campus at the same time they did. It is exciting to see everything that has changed over the past four years and the wonderful people that these students have grown into. As I started the tradition last year, I am once again interviewing and highlighting each of my graduating seniors.

Today we speak with Jessica Kim, who is a biology major that joined the lab in summer 2017. She has been a dynamite plasmid mutator and protein expressor. She is headed home to California after graduation and we will ask her to always send the sun our way. She answered my questions as follows:

Q1. Why did you decide to join the Pollock lab?

Jessica: I have always wanted to be part of a research lab once I got to Richmond. I was clueless as to which lab to join until I met Dr. Pollock at my biology 202 poster presentation. During our conversation, she gave me a brief background of what her lab does and I was very interested. I remember looking at the Richmond page and thinking to myself of how I really wanted to join the Pollock lab. I emailed her of my interest and from then on, I found myself part of the lab group.

Q2. What was your favorite part about your research experience?

Jessica: My favorite part of the research experience was being able to understand what I was doing and being able to do experiments without multiple questions. When I was first being taught how to conduct the experiments, I was very confused and frustrated for not being able to comprehend anything. However, once I began to get the hang of everything, I felt very proud.

Q3. What do you plan to do after graduation?

Jessica: After graduation, I plan on taking a gap year to work at a clinic and get the necessary prerequisites I need for Nurse Practitioner school. I hope to be back in school after the year.

Q4. As you reflect back on your time at University of Richmond, what advice would you give to an incoming student who was interested in your career path?

Jessica: I would want to tell incoming students to try to get to know the science professors. Once you get to know a professor, they have a lot of good advices to give, especially since they have been in your shoes.

Jessica- thank you for joining the lab and for being willing to jump from the proposed idea to a different project when the summer started. I wish you all the best as you prepare for NP school! Stay in touch.