One of the most interesting aspects of the UROP Summer Biomedical and Life Sciences Fellowship were the opportunities to get to know professors, research assistants, and various graduate students in many different fields of research at the University. However, the program managed to incorporate these meetings during a time where everyone could take a break – over lunch!
These “Brown Bag Lunches” as they were called were scheduled over the 12-1pm lunch hour. We would arrive with our lunches in tow and listen to the guest or engage in their conversations. The speakers were not given specific instructions on what to cover during the lunch, so that left a lot of room for them to talk about whatever they wanted – their research, the path that brought them to the University, future aspirations, and so much more!
My favorite of the lunches I attended was hosted by Dr. Christiane Wobus, an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School. I came into the room, sat across from the professor, and pulled out my lunch. She told us everything about how she ended up with the position she has at the University, starting from her high school days in East Germany. It was really intriguing to hear her tales of the trials and tribulations she had over the years. Her story was very inspirational to a student like myself, a female pursuing a career in the sciences.
I really learned a great deal about myself and others through these lunches and I hope to have the opportunity to apply this new knowledge in the future.