by Isabella Succi ’20, Mary Kate Dougherty ’19, Sarah Muche ’19, Alana Cianciulli ’19 and Corinne Merlino ’20
We spend so much time on campus, in our classrooms and in our labs, sometimes it’s difficult to picture ourselves anywhere else. But over the past year, whether by way of a family vacation or an academic conference, we have all had the chance to visit new places. And as the weather gets colder and finals loom, it’s definitely fun to escape back in our minds to those stunning, pastoral places.
Isabella Succi (Biology): This past summer, my family and I traveled to Switzerland. We stayed in Interlaken, but we took day trips to Zurich and Lucerne. I have to say Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited! The air was so crisp. The scenery was unreal. And there were so many fun things to do. We went hiking, kayaking and took a lift to the top of Mt. Pilatus. It was a truly unforgettable trip. If you ever have the chance to go, I would highly recommend it.
Mary Kate Dougherty (Chemical Biology): Over this past summer, my family and I visited Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We went on plenty of hikes to different lookouts and a few waterfalls. While many of the hikes were a literal “uphill battle,” the scenery was always worth it. While on the subject of travel, I am actually writing this post from San Diego, where I am attending the Neuroscience 2018 Conference, thanks to the McNulty Program. I am learning so much about the field of neuroscience during my time here, and certainly look forward to sharing it all with my labmates and fellow McNulty scholars when I return.
Sarah Muche (Biology): Through the McNulty Program, I have attended the annual NorthEastern Microbiologists: Physiology, Ecology, Taxonomy (NEMPET) Conference in the Adirondacks for the past two years. My first year, we went on a 4-hour hike through the woods, which was almost impossible for the novice hikers in my group. Although most of us slid the entirety of the way down the mountain and had to deliver our presentations in muddy clothes, I’d say the view at the top was worth it. I’ve been to the Adirondacks before, but it’s interesting to think that research and the McNulty Program brought me back to this unique spot, which I would probably not have ever explored in quite the same way.
Alana Cianciulli (Biology): Last April, I was able to travel to San Diego for the Experimental Biology Conference with a few seniors from my lab. It was an incredible experience, as it was my first time ever on the West Coast. I have a major fear of flying, so although it was a little nerve wracking, being with my friends made the flight much easier. While at the conference, we visited the San Diego Zoo, which is one of the largest zoos in the country. We also rented bikes and rode around the city. Although we were there for academic and professional purposes, I was able to bond with these upperclassmen and become very close friends with several of them. We have kept in touch since they graduated.
Corinne Merlino (Biology): At the end of the summer, I had the opportunity to accompany my McNulty research mentor, Dr. Julia Lee-Soety, to the National Yeast Genetics Meeting at Stanford University in California. We presented a poster highlighting our research, which focuses on studying the telomere dynamics of yeast chromosomes to understand how telomeres contribute to cell aging and cancer biology. Throughout the week, I was able to attend presentations by some of the most prominent principal investigators in field of yeast genetics, and I networked with graduate and postdoctoral students from institutions around the world. Although we were there for the science, I had the opportunity to explore Stanford’s beautiful campus as well. The scenery there was so breathtaking, especially the views from the top of the bell tower and at the cactus garden. Overall, this trip was a wonderful opportunity for educational and professional development that would not have been possible without the support of the McNulty Scholars Program!