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All the Science: The SyBBURE Research Program (Apply! :))

Posted by on Monday, March 7, 2016 in Academics, College Life, College of Arts and Science, Engineering, Extracurriculars, Freshman Life, General Information, Student Life, Student Organizations, Undergraduate Research.

“Do you think you’ll have time for this?”

I looked at the director of the program, my fingers shaking a little. I had always been interested in research, and after finding out about the SyBBURE research program, headed by the professor of my honors seminar the semester before, I knew that I had to apply. And here I sat, at the interview.

Did I think I had time for this? Honestly, I didn’t know. But I looked at her and said “Yes.”

Two days later I was running to the seminar room from my Chemistry lab, heading to the first SyBBURE seminar I would attend, ironically enough, on Getting Everything Done: Time Management at Vandy. After stacking a plate full of Thai food and awkwardly looking for somewhere to sit in the classroom, where about twenty sophomores, juniors, and seniors were sitting, I sat down and listened to the talk. Twenty minutes later I was talking with the director about opportunities in the program.

The SyBBURE research program is a program for which you can apply for as early as August when you come to Vandy. Just apply through As part of a program, you work with a subgroup once or twice a week during the school year for about thirty minutes to an hour on a specific project. The subgroups aren’t very large (ours is ten, which is quite large for a subgroup). Our specific project is dealing with creating a “gut on a chip,” one where gut cells can grow in a micro-environment of a chip, created with photolithography and soft lithography (Two terms which I’m kind of fuzzy right now on what exactly they mean). My specific project is researching on how cells move through Matlab. Currently I’m attending the SyBBURE seminars (usually on a different topic that the students are interested in learning about) as well as doing my part in the subgroup (learning photolith and soft lifth which I’ll start after Spring Break), and after attending four or five seminars, I finally feel like I’m almost part of the group (A feeling justified when I was added to the SyBBURE groupme and listserv. You know you’re official when ;))

Once SyBBURE, always SyBBURE. There’s even students who graduated last year doing research in labs because of their SyBBURE internships while they were at Vandy. They’re still part of SyBBURE. The people are amazing too. In SyBBURE, you find the middle-school geek grown up who stlll loves chemistry. You find the triple major in math, engineering, and computer science. You find the people who dedicate hours of their week to science in their labs and then combine their knowledge with others in subgroup. Deep in Stevenson, amidst the people who give their lives to science and math, surrounded by posters covered with long and intimidating words,  you find the opportunity for innovation and discovery which is SyBBURE.

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