Intern Anniversary Series: Shannon Murphy
2014 intern with BTI’s Education and Outreach group while a sophomore at SUNY Geneseo
Now: She will complete her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in May 2016 and will start her Ph.D. in microbiology at Cornell University in the fall.
Briefly describe your internship at BTI and share any fond memories, learning experiences or challenges.
As both an REU student and Bioenergy and Bioproducts Education Program (BBEP) intern, my project combined research efforts with scientific outreach. I investigated ways to cultivate algae for biofuel production while generating laboratory materials for middle and high school classrooms. I came into the program with no prior research experience; I didn’t even know how to use a micropipette. But with the guidance of BTI faculty, I left with the skills and confidence to perform more independent research.
How did your experience at BTI affect your career path and what is your current position?
My experience at BTI left me eager to continue research and helped to clarify my career goals. Working with microorganisms was way more fun than I expected and this realization sparked my interest in microbiology-related fields.
What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
I attend a small state college with limited research opportunities. However, using what I learned at BTI, I wrote a proposal and acquired funding to work on microalgae biodiesel synthesis at my college. I am currently mentoring several underclassmen to continue these endeavors after I graduate. I’m proud to say that I was able to use these outside experiences to extend opportunities to my fellow students.
More information on the Plant Genome Research Program summer internship and its history is available here.