Carmen Vallin, Mentee

Q
If someone asked you to give them an elevator pitch on your research in 3 sentences, what would you say?
A

Mutations, or changes in the DNA can have a variety of both negative and positive implications depending on the context. For bacteria, a little genome flexibility under stressful conditions can go a long way. My research seeks to elucidate a mechanism that allows bacteria to bias mutations to key regions in the genome where mutations might be beneficial under stress while maintaining whole genome integrity.

Questions & Answers

Q
What do you find most rewarding or gratifying about being a mentee?
A

The most rewarding part of being a mentee is having the opportunity to engage in scientific discussions with more experienced mentors. It is initially not an even exchange, but as mentees continue to learn there is a point where we know enough to add some value to a scientific conversation. Reaching that point is very gratifying.

Q
What achievements and/or successes have resulted from being a mentee that you would not have had otherwise?
A

Many scholarships or grant opportunities regarding research for undergraduates are not overtly advertised. Many times mentors will hear about these opportunities and pass them along to students they know. Having access to a mentor allowed me access to a variety of different opportunities that I have been able to take full advantage of.

Q
Share something about yourself that you won’t find on your resume.
A

I love science history. I can get lost in articles from many decades ago. The insights gained with limited technology always amaze me.

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