Kori Williams Participates in Ten-Week Neuroscience Summer Research Experience
Kori Williams never believed she would engage with cutting-edge laboratory technologies as an undergraduate. In a ten-week summer research experience for undergraduates at the University of Vermont, Williams worked in the field of neuroscience, specializing in proteins and eye development.
Throughout the experience, Williams worked with developmental proteins and cells. “Working in the lab with new techniques and technologies was something I could bring back to Southern. We have begun to incorporate them into the labs on campus,” Williams said.
Williams learned how to apply classroom concepts to real life problems during the research experience at UV. “The brain is fascinating; we worked with more specific proteins. It’s the experience that you get that really makes a difference,” Williams added.
Williams believes her research experience shaped her into a more culturally perceptive student. She saw this experience in another institution as a chance to examine herself and her goals for the future. “I worked in the field with researchers from diverse backgrounds from all over the United States who helped cultivate my passions,” Williams said.
The research experience provided Williams with the skills for advancement in the future. She wrote papers, presented posters, and participated in workshops about graduate school. Williams’ research experience was funded through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Williams received a stipend of $5,000, on-campus housing, and a supplement for lab supplies. “I could not have participated without the funding. The experience you receive from an internship is completely different than in the classroom,” Williams said.
The University Honors Program encouraged Williams to seek more opportunities in research. “The honors program is encouraging if you want to strive to do more. Most students don’t want to do it on their own, but the program makes it easy to do undergraduate research,” Williams said.
After graduation, Williams will attend graduate school to study in the field of neurodevelopment, with a focus on disorders like Autism. “My advice is to go somewhere you have never been. You’ll never know where you want to go unless you try,” Williams said.
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