My name is Ana Manzano and I am a Senior Biology major. I cannot believe I only have my Senior Research Presentation before completing my time here at Shepherd! It is definitely a joyous and bittersweet realization.
I will be sincerely sad to leave when I graduate, because I have grown to think of campus as a second home. However, I will be leaving with a degree that I worked hard for, and a huge sense of accomplishment.
I am in the process of visiting and applying to Graduate Schools. Like most of you, I am nervous of where I will be spending the next four years. When you are selecting a school, please be aware of what experiences you hope to accomplish. I chose Shepherd because I knew I would be fortunate to connect my two passions, biology research and community service.
One of the advantages directly related to the location of Shepherd University as student in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics are the many research facilities we have located within 50miles. Students in Beta Beta Beta and Sigma Pi Epsilon sometimes carpool to visit the research facilities, which sometimes offer internship opportunities.
Currently, I serve as a Biology Aide in Molecular Biology at the United States Department of Agriculture at the Appalachian Fruit and Research Station in Kearneysville, WV. I am using Next Generation Sequencing for analyzing transgene insertions in plum. My main task is to use PCR techniques to identify the introduced or absented genes in the HoneySweet plum. If you have ever done PCR, you know how time-consuming it is!
This technique is reliable but many complications do arise, such as multiple insertion sites, rearrangements or duplications of transgene sequences. If you are interested in research, you will have numerous facilities around campus where you can gain invaluable knowledge and put your laboratory background to great use!
Here at Shepherd, service is the norm, not the exception. When you are a student here, you will find yourself participating in many service projects. Every spring semester, Beta Beta Beta and Sigma Pi Epsilon participate in Relay For Life and host the annual Relay For Life Chili Cook-Off. Shepherd’s Relay is #4 in the Nation!
I am Relay For Life’s Advocacy Chair, I work closely with the WV American Cancer Society Lead Ambassador to provide a platform for cancer research at the community and state level. This opportunity has given me the ability to meet many representatives and state officials. I am looking forward to visiting and observing scientists at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD this spring.
If you are passionate about a subject, you should try to build upon it. Shepherd provides you with many opportunities in and out of the classroom. Time goes by fast, so take in everything Shepherd has to offer while you can! You will soon discover how great it is to be a Shepherd Ram!