Summer Preview, Part 1: Gusties Earn Research Experiences Off-Campus Posted on May 5th, 2021 by

This summer, over 50 Gusties will be undertaking summer research projects. Their collaborations with faculty span the sciences, arts, and humanities. Here’s a snapshot of 3 students who will be conducting research off-campus.


Jessica Schwartz ‘23, Chemistry

Jessica Schwartz ‘23 will be participating in the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Medical-Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Schwartz will be working with Gustavus Alumni, Dr. Emma Mohr characterizing the effects of congenital Zika virus infection on vision, hearing, and brain structures using a macaque animal model. 



“I’m really excited to work on this project because I will be able to experience working at a larger research institution,” said Schwartz.


Previously, Schwartz has been a part of research at Gustavus through the First Year Research Experience (FYRE) program and encourages other Gustavus students to get an early start on research.


Schwartz offers advice to fellow students stating, “Don’t be afraid to email people, just to get to know them or ask a question about their research. I don’t think that I would have been accepted to this program if I had not reached out to Dr. Mohr to ask what her lab was all about.”




Kaitlyn Gruber ‘21, Biochemistry

This summer, Kaitlyn Gruber will be taking part in the Maximillian Nandor Lando National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (Lando NSF/REU) at the University of Minnesota.


Gruber will be working with Dr. Christy Haynes and her group, researching micro electrochemistry and testing/developing different materials. This program builds upon the learning she began during her FYRE collaboration with Dr. Amanda Nienow, Chemistry. She hopes to gain practical lab skills, learn new methods and techniques, and gain skills in presenting and analyzing data. 


Gruber reaches out to potential researchers saying, “Try it out! Any amount of experience can really help clarify future career goals and give you a better idea of the kind of science you like.” 





Katya McDonald ‘22, Biology

Katya McDonald ‘22 will be conducting research as a part of the Mayo Summer Research Fellowship (SURF).


McDonald is prepared for this prestigious fellowship with her lab skills and interest in microbiology and public health. McDonald was inspired by her research last summer with Dr. Laura Burrack, Biology, and this summer she will be working in the Mayo Immunology Department with Dr. Kathryn Knoop. In this ten week long program, McDonald aims to develop new lab skills and techniques and contribute to the lab in a meaningful way. 


“My advice to anyone considering research is to just go for it… Research is amazing, and Gustavus students are qualified for these opportunities,” McDonald. 


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