Monday, September 27, 2010

Behind the (Lab) Bench

As I walked on campus the other day I recognized a few sports players (b.t.w. Ryan Kerrigan is huge), I wondered what life would be like if students and future professionals were treated like star athletes in the media. So, I will be profiling some of my academic and professional ventures in a series called Behind the (Lab) Bench. I like this idea because instead writing entries in a dull, to the point voice, I can allow everyone to see how my minds works within my academic and career goals. This week...Recruiting!

Author's note: I originally wrote this piece in first person but it sounded ridiculous. So I tried it in third person, and now it just sounds only a little smug.

Ok science fans, let's take a look at one of the up and coming recruits in the pharmaceutics world.
Matt Jackson is a Midwest Pharmaceutical Science recruit for the Boilers Industrial and
Physical Pharmacy (IPPH) department. Being one of five new recruits for Purdue this, he is the only one from the Midwest which bodes well for this class as the more diversity within the
lab, the more collaboration. Matt graduated from Purdue in May of 2010 and decided on Purdue over Kentucky, Northeastern, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Matt said this about his decision, "Besides the location being close to home, Purdue's experience in solid state chemistry and close relationship with pharmaceutical industry ultimately pushed Purdue over the edge for my decision." Matt's undergrad career involved some research in the IPPH department under Dr. Taylor resulting in both a poster symposium and a published paper.

But now we focus on Matt's upcoming decision on which lab he will choose. If you follow Purdue IPPH closely, you know that Dr. Taylor has solidified her place within the IPPH department with her research in amorphous drug properties. You should also know that there is a new IPPH department head in Dr. Topp. At first, it looked as though Matt was recruited to come work for Dr. Taylor but now it seems to be a two horse race. Now Matt has shown interest in amorphous research so let's look at the tale of the tape...
Both lab groups have some research in amorphous solids and thus the science world must wait on Matt's decision. He has scheduled visits to each lab in the next couple weeks and has met with both professor's about his decision. Also, the lab must also return the favor and accept him into their lab. So we will keep a close eye on this developing recruiting trail.

See, isn't that more fun?

(If you are interested in getting the "Behind the Bench" treatment, for any profession...just let me know and we can do a Special Edition of the series!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back to the Bottom of the Totem Pole

(First I want to apologize, as I did not finish my "One Week" blog. I wrote about an half entry then got really busy and have decided to was a crazy week!)
As anyone who cares to read this blog knows, I have just begun school...again! I am beginning my next academic chapter in pursuing my Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics. And for all the new opportunities it sure feels familiar. With every new step in our academic careers, we seem to follow a very similar outline for every chapter.
You begin each step by reviewing what you learned before (minus the Kindergarten stage because you know nothing then). In Jr. High, you take the first placement tests to see what classes you start in. High school is similar but it adds all the "tracks" to graduating; such as Core 40, Honors, AP, etc. College again is all about placement tests and tracks, but adds that entire new dimension of living on your own and trying to remember how your mom folded your clothes, kinda. Next everyone must accomplish a laundry list of menial tasks to provide a foundation to stand on. This includes book fees, medical records, driving records, signing your name so many times that you only remember to put the M and J on everything. And lastly, there is the whole concept of being at the bottom of the totem pole and having to work your way back up to the top.

Now, a part of me assumed that continuing onto Grad School, especially at the same University, I might be able to bypass these "steps." Incorrect! I have found myself feeling much like a freshman in college or high school again, even though I am a college graduate and I turning 23 next week. I have had to sign so many documents that my signature looks like Michael Jordan's without the 23. Next, I am in 5 classes, only one of which directly relates to Pharmaceutics, and that is Seminar. For those who don't know, seminar is one hour a week to go and listen to professors and industry professionals talk about whatever they want. My other classes include two math classes, a chemistry course, and a laboratory safety course which is taught by the real life Ms. Frizzle! I have gone from discussing solubility issues during production of drugs and working on the problems of tomorrow, to solving differential equations and drawing plots about the sales of automobiles for the 3rd or 4th or 5th time, I can't remember. Thus, my motivation has been slowed. Instead I am enjoying the little things in life to get me through the mundane times of being a newbie such as; Monday Night Football, 4th Meal, and Frisbee Golf.

So, I have found myself at the bottom of an even higher mountain at which I have to climb. I just hope I don't gain the freshman 15...again!