Weekly Blog 3

6/16/2017

This week has been very productive due to the various networking workshops I went to and the progress I have achieved in the NSF. For example, the Tuesday NSF workshop was very insightful as it helped me think of ways to communicate with strangers and potential employers without sounding needy. One thing that significantly helped me while doing the practice conversations with other interns I had not met was the improvisation exercise I did in QEM last week. I still remember how reluctant I was to stand up in front of my QEM family and talk about the origins of apple juice, however the exercise ended well and made me realize how easy it is to improvise when chatting to strangers.

Another highlight of my week was the QEM game night on Wednesday where the interns and I played a very funny trivia board game. While playing my mind often drifted into exhaustion from the work I did in the NSF and the hot temperature of the room. However, it was not all that bad as the board game helped us bond while sharing jokes and eating chicken wings Kendrick purchased.

Furthermore, having the game night helped me become more social in the Tri-Caucus meeting on Thursday where I got to meet some very nice people. At first it was very difficult to communicate with people there because it was extremely noisy and almost all participants were political science major. Fortunately, when the event ended and people stood around to mingle I took the initiative to go around introducing myself and I ended up meeting four students of which I exchanged my contact information with.

Regarding my academic development in the NSF under the guidance of Dr. Anna Kerttula, I can say with confidence that there are plenty of opportunities rising from the horizon. Just this Wednesday she offered to send me to Alaska in the week of July 24th where I would be participating in an Alaskan expedition to numerous farms to assess the state of diseases in their flora, particularly in potatoes. The fieldwork will be headed by renown University of Alaska Professor Dr. Jennifer McBeath who uses the data acquired from the farm assessments to analyses the state of sustainable agriculture and food security in the region. All of this is applicable knowledge to my field and studies of my major in Environmental Science, my minor is Agriculture, and my research focus with Dr. Kerttula is assessing the food security issues in Alaska. Logistics about the trip are still underdevelopment and I am sure you will officially hear from my mentor in the coming week.

All in all, this week as been very productive and filled with positive events. You will find below a few photos pertaining to this week which I hope you will enjoy.

Sincerely, Leonardo