Julie Starkey

My summer internship at Michigan State University was an incredible experience. I worked under graduate student Aiko Turmo in Dr. Cheryl Kerfeld’s lab, and although our project was challenging at times, we always had a good time working together. Aiko and the other lab members were so kind and helpful throughout the summer, even when they were neck-deep in research. My project taught me the ins and outs of research in a biochemistry lab, from constructing plasmid vectors to inducing protein expression in bacteria to transmission electron microscope (TEM) imaging. Even with the long hours in the lab, all the lab members were able to meet up occasionally for dinner and drinks or a night of bowling. When I wasn’t in the lab working on my research, I was learning about all the research being done on bioenergy as well as how to prepare for graduate school and life as a research biologist.

I also spent a lot of my summer outside the lab with the GLBRC cohort. It took little time for the seven of us to become close—we spent our free time playing games, going to the lake and exploring the campus and East Lansing. We all had even more fun on the program field trips, especially the trip to Dr. Hegg’s cabin that sits on the coast of Lake Michigan. I will never forget how we all got lost trying to find our way to the beach and ended up trekking through the woods for almost an hour before finding the right path. It was an unexpected journey, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.

Though I was far from my home in Colorado for ten long weeks, my time in Michigan was full of new experiences and cherished memories.