SEA Currents: Woods Hole Partnership Education Program
June 27, 2017
PEP and Beyond
I first heard about this program from one of my research advisors at Georgia State University. I was working at the XRD, Dr. Kabengi walks into the lab, hands me a pamphlet, and says “you need to apply to this.” So I do. I had already applied to a few other summer programs and had gotten accepted to one of them; I had even accepted their invitation. One evening, a few weeks later, I get a phone call from a gentleman named Dr. Ambrose Jearld, asking me to please email him a copy of my transcripts. We had a brief conversation and afterward I email him my transcripts. I left that encounter thinking that I might get an invitation and so began my excitement. I was indeed invited about a month later by Dr. George Liles. I was very happy to get this invite because attending a summer research program was a goal I had set for myself at the beginning of the year. Upon receiving the invite from Dr. Liles, I let the other program know that I would not be attending after all and thanked them for their consideration. I received my research assignment a few weeks later and was floored by what I would be doing for the summer. I learned that I would be working on a NASA funded project where I would analyze vanadium isotopes in Martian meteors and lunar material.
I want to be a NASA geologist and astronaut one day. My dream is to walk on the moon or Mars, or at the very least be the lead scientist on a future rover or probe mission. In order to achieve that goal I have attempted to order my steps along my path. My goals are ones that I have always had but for a long time I neglected them or convinced myself that they were too far out of reach. Since starting my research at Georgia State University two years ago, every step I have taken has been the correct one, every turn has been the correct turn. Though I realize that my run of encountering positively serendipitous opportunities may be temporary or they may not be so frequent in the future, I do truly believe that I am meant to be the man that I envision myself to be in the near future.
Being a PEP’ster and being present in Woods Hole is an amazing opportunity for me. I want to be great scientist and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow, and hopefully be impressive. Having the opportunity to be part of a world renowned science community and to be a student chosen to help conduct novel research is an amazing thing. I have heard several people say that this program or this community gave them their start in their careers. I want to be able to tell a similar story. In closing, my fellow PEP’sters are amazing, the PEP coordinators and professors are amazing, and I am extremely pleased to be here.