Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Laura Muller

Shaping the view of science: Will and I want to help these students view science as a communal effort, and to help them learn how to build community by helping them find ways to relate to each other. We also want to help them find ways to talk about the work they are doing this summer with their friends and family who may not know all of the lingo.

Lab work: The program brings college and high school students to the lab for summer research internships studying cancer, bioinformatics, developmental biology and aging, genomics, hematology/immunology, metabolic diseases, and neurobiology. The Jackson lab is world famous for its work breeding genetically pure strains of mice for research. We work to help our students think about the larger implications of this work for the world, or help them translate what they are learning into terms they could use to explain it to family and friends back home.

Beyond the lab: Our job is to oversee student life outside the lab, including all kinds of outdoor activities. We also help students integrate their research experience with the rest of life.

More Wheaton connections: Amy Dalrymple ’10 (a former summer program intern) is one of our four resident assistants. Ali Mehlhorn ’11 is a summer student. And Assistant Professor of Philosophy Teresa Celada did a two-day bioethics seminar with the summer students.

A learning experience: I have always known that I love mentoring students; this experience definitely confirmed that. However, I do spend some time talking to the students’ mentors at the lab about strategies to help their students learn both new skills and new concepts. I really like that interaction, too!

Fuel for the fall: I am invigorated by watching students work in lab all day. I try to drop by labs every so often so I can see their work through their eyes—that is thrilling! They have made me psyched to have more time to be in the lab myself this fall!

Photos by Gabriela Trevino ’13