Second Installment of ASURE Student Interviews
Last week the Graduate Forum started profiling this year’s undergraduate students taking part in The Academic Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, more commonly referred to as ASURE, here at Dartmouth. For a look back at that article, click here.
Below we continue our interviews with the final three ASURE students in order to learn a little more about where each of them is from, what they are researching, and where they hope to go after their time as an undergraduate.
Andres “Andy” Rosario
Andy Rosario comes to ASURE from Puerto Rico where he currently studies at the University of Puerto Rico. Rosario is majoring in electrical engineering and will be a junior this fall. Rosario is spending his time this summer working closely with graduate student David McClatchy on a research study overseen by Principal Investigator Professor Brian Pogue in the Thayer School of Engineering. This study focuses on figuring out which scanning technique is most effective at identifying if breast cancer is present at the margins of the tissue extracted, knowledge that could save future patients from undergoing a second follow-up surgery to remove the residual cancer. After he graduates, Rosario has considered working for his uncle who is an electrical engineer in Florida. “I would love to work for him, but I also want to keep on exploring.” Rosario is excited to be presenting at The Leadership Alliance National Symposium being held July 26-28 in Connecticut.
When not preparing for the symposium, Rosario, a natural athlete (he played collegiate baseball earlier on in his college career), has enjoyed working out at Alumni Gym and running on the outdoor track.
Edith Soto grew up in a suburb just outside Los Angeles, California, and currently attends California State University, also in Los Angeles. Soto is majoring in physics and minoring in math and is just two classes away from completing her bachelor’s degree. Although her undergraduate education thus far has focused primarily on physics, she is enjoying the research she’s completing this summer in astronomy. Soto is researching active galactic nuclei, or AGNs, “which are essentially black holes in the center of galaxies.” While an ASURE student here at Dartmouth, Soto works closely with postdoc Kevin Hainline in Professor Ryan Hickox’s research group. Soto hopes to apply to astronomy PhD programs after graduation, with the long-term goal of becoming a professor one day herself.
She says the campus is beautiful and the quiet noise level is a relaxing change from the hustle and bustle of LA.
Patrick Succo is Diné and hails from Ts’ah Bii Kin, Arizona, a small, rural community in the northern part of the Navajo Reservation. Succo will graduate this December 2013 from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado where he is double-majoring in biochemistry and cellular/molecular biology. When not in class, he is also a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and plays on the rugby team. Here at Dartmouth he has been conducting biochemistry research in Dean Jon Kull’s lab under the mentorship of graduate student Justin Cruite and postdoc Charles Midgett. Specifically, Succo is “trying to purify and crystallize a mutant HapR protein made from Vibrio cholerae.” This protein regulates virulence gene expression, and understanding it at the molecular level will hopefully improve therapeutic strategies to potentially cure bacterial diseases. After Dartmouth, Succo will apply to veterinary schools, but is also interested in dual DVM/PhD programs as well. He is enjoying the exploration of these different academic paths while here at Dartmouth. Ultimately, he would like to return to the Navajo Reservation and use his education to inspire economic and governmental change there.
When asked what he liked most about being in the Upper Valley this summer, he noted that despite the intense humidity (which there is much less of in Arizona), he has had a good time eating New England food and participating in activities such as hiking on the AT, canoeing, bowling, and going to the drive-in movie theater in Fairlee, Vermont.
ASURE students end their summer here at Dartmouth by giving oral presentations about their research on August 1 at 3:30 pm in Cummings 200 at Thayer. They will also be presenting their research posters on August 13 at 4:00 pm in the atrium at Thayer. All are welcome to attend either or both presentations!
We wish this year’s group of ASURE students the very best in their future endeavors beyond Dartmouth!
by Lisa Jackson