The Office of the VP for Research, Creativity and Technology Transfer is pleased to introduce two MSU Presidential Scholars, Keely Obert and Kristy Segal, who have also been selected as Research Interns. This internship program, “Undergraduate Research Internships for Enhancing Diversity in Science and Engineering” is part of a campus-wide effort to enhance diversity in the science fields and increase the number of women majoring in science (biological, physical, and social) and engineering, and to increase the opportunities for women to be involved in undergraduate research at MSU. The program, new to the campus this year, is designed to provide highly qualified undergraduate students with exposure to research in the sciences and engineering fields, and to gain some first-hand experience working with faculty and graduate students in many of the research labs or centers on campus. The program builds upon the prestigious Presidential Scholarship program, and provides a unique opportunity for incoming undergraduates to obtain an insider’s view of the research engine of the university, how this complements and enriches the academic programs on campus, and how research can be an integral part of the undergraduate education at MSU.
Keely Obert is a freshman majoring in Civil Engineering, with a focus and interest on structural engineering. She claims this is in part due to her fascination with roller coasters, and in part due to high school interests in math, science, and drafting. Keely graduated from Helena High School with a 4.0 GPA, where she was also a swimmer and accomplished alto saxophonist. She admits that “music is my stress relief!” She enjoys debating politics and government actions, just for fun. In talking about the Research Internship program and opportunities at MSU, it is clearly on her agenda to explore as many disciplines and cross-research are as possible.
With an interest in Ecology, Kristy Segal sees MSU as offering a unique playground for combining academics and outside interests. Kristy is a recent highest honors (4.0 GPA) graduate of Warner Robins High School in Warner Robins, Georgia. She is currently majoring in Ecology. Her interest is in all areas of ecology and biology, but is more focused on large mammals and genetics. In high school she worked at a veterinary clinic, which helped her to develop an interest in animals and gave her valuable hands-on experience working in a lab, assisting with surgeries, and helping with many different types of cases. As a daughter of Air Force parents, Kristy has lived in many places and has adapted to many changes, so Bozeman does not seem like such an outlier or so far from home. She says her favorite place to live is Germany.
It is anticipated that this research internship program, in concert with the Undergraduate Scholars program and other undergraduate research programs throughout the University, will provide a sense of being partners in creating new knowledge rather than simply being recipients of another faculty member’s or mentor’s knowledge. Collectively, these programs and efforts at MSU and related institutions provide a wonderful opportunity to explore creative ideas across disciplines and colleges, across ages and generations.