If you are thinking about graduate school or hoping to better understand your own interests by gaining some hands-on experience, consider joining a research lab. I cannot promise that I will have space for a new research assistant, but if you are interested, it doesn’t hurt to reach out. Before you do though, read a little bit about the kinds of students that make successful research assistants.
Successful research assistants in this lab are engaged, hard-working and full of curiosity. They ask questions, propose possible solutions and are not afraid of saying something that is “wrong.” They are passionate, responsible and are interested and engaged in the process of asking and answering questions with research, knowing that the data do not always support predicted hypotheses. These students are well-balanced; they have a variety of academic interests balanced with a focus on relationships within and outside of these interests. These students are professional (e.g., they respond in a timely manner to emails, are courteous, reliable), and are willing to be held accountable and hold others accountable. These students are honest, they learn through their successes and their failures, and view both as opportunities to growth. These students are thoughtful and diligent in their attention to details and consideration of the big picture.
In this lab, you are not expected to be perfect, but you are expected to engage and grow in knowledge, skill and relationship. As the faculty advisor, I also strive to be all that I have described above, but know that I will make mistakes. This is part of the process; we can be gracious with one another and learn from these mistakes. I will help you succeed to the best of my abilities and hope that your time in the lab will be fruitful in the development of skills and important character traits for lifelong success. If you desire to pursue the presentation and publication of research, this is something I would love to pursue with you; your initiative is the most important part of this process. I desire to serve and mentor you to the best of my abilities. As such, please do not hesitate to ask me questions as we progress together.