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- UROP Associate Director Catalina Ormsby Receives Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award
- UROP Welcomes New Director: Dr. Michelle Ferrez
- Thirty Years of UROP: Explore More
- 30th Anniversary of UROP Program
- A two-way street: UROP Peer Facilitators support first-year, second-year, and transfer students in their research and academics — and learn from them in the process
- UROP adapts to COVID crisis
- Michael Kheir, MD
- Corey J. Schiffman, MD
- Ninette Musili, UROP Alumni
- Yaera Spraggins, Recently Published UROP Alumni
- Archived News
- Lessons from virtual summer fellowship in Detroit linger for students
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What years did you participate in UROP?
Traditional UROP, 2000-2001
What made you choose UROP?
I have no idea how I first heard of UROP – but I remember taking my first psychology course as a freshman and loving it. It allowed me see how I could combine my love for science and math to real-life situations and research.
What do you think you have learned from your UROP experience?
I learned a ton and have continued to endorse UROP my entire academic career at different universities. I learned that research is something you can quickly and directly contribute to if you have the passion and the interest.
What is the extent to which you have kept in contact with your Research Mentor?
I didn’t get the initial project/advisor match that I wanted, and landed instead in a totally different field – prostate cancer research. However, it still introduced me to a real lab environment where I then took the skills to psychology with advisors that I still am colleagues with today, and led me directly to my PhD work.
How did your UROP experience shape or inform the next steps you took in your academic and professional journey?
It led me directly on the course of my PhD in psychology and then toward a subsequent degree in architecture. From there I did a postdoc investigating how the built environment affects health and wellbeing. Psychology has been a critical piece of my career advancements as buildings are created for people, yet combining those fields is uncommon, or often uninformed. I now work for a private design firm and lead a research core dedicated to people and society. We have the chance to not only do primary research but to also work with designers to translate existing research to real world structures and systems.
What advice would you give to a current UROP student?
Don’t shy away from getting research experience in an area you didn’t originally have a ton of interest in. Science has a way of converging and crossing paths – that’s where innovation happens and where communication skills are most highly valued - we’re seeing that more than ever right now.
What are some recent publications or accomplishments that you are proud of?
From my postdoc work:
- Lindberg CM, Srinivasan K, Gilligan B, et al. Effects of office workstation type on physical activity and stressOccupational and Environmental Medicine 2018;75:689-695.
From my design firm:
Is there any other advice you would like to impart to current or future UROP students?
You’re learning a language, regardless of the lab you’re in, first and foremost. This is a universal language of process, and a way of thinking critically, that can be translated across time and the themes of the entire world. Let that be the lesson that you learn the most deeply, and then apply it to whatever direction your career and passion takes you. This skill also translates to the ability and responsibility you will have as a filter for incoming information. You can affect your circles in what they read and how they interpret what they read.