Hello, friends! My name is Lynn Mina Imakhchachen, currently I am a senior at UCF majoring in biomedical sciences – I am set to graduate this coming spring (2017)! I graduated in 2013 from Freedom High School in Orlando first not knowing what I wanted to study. Eventually I was fortunate enough to come to the conclusion that I wanted to pursue a career in STEM, not only because I value a profession that never stops changing, where I never stop learning – but also because I know I can make a positive impact in that field. The field I am referring to is medicine and public health, with some vested interest in biotechnology and nanoscience. As a goal, I would like to work for the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control.
I could harp on for days about why and how I intend to pursue my goals but to keep things simple I will mention a class I took at UCF that genuinely rooted me in a love of STEM, that class was MCB 3020 otherwise known as General Microbiology, with Dr. White as my professor. The class was (as the name implies) general, but immersive – to learn about the microbes that, essentially, silently rule the planet, govern our bodily functions as well as have the capability to damage us in various ways entranced me. Microbes have a great plethora of ways to accomplish their goals and pursue their agendas, and I love describing some of those processes to those who’d like to listen. This love for microbiology was further developed in subsequent classes such as microbial metabolism, as well as in my teaching experience (I was supplemental instruction leader for the course, and currently am an MCAT biology and biochemistry instructor).
I wanted to become a STEM ambassador because I wish to pass on my knowledge and enthusiasm surrounding the sciences (not just medicine and microbiology) to students in the public school system who may not have an effective avenue to explore or realize an interest in science, an interest in how things work. I hope, if anything at all, I can help a student appreciate and marvel at all the beautiful life-processes surrounding us, and perhaps join the community as a science appreciator, and to be a lifelong learner.
For those who are feeling discouraged about the sciences, feel like it isn’t for them, or don’t know why they are studying certain subjects – I simply state a quote from Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers and principle writer of the declaration of independence: “An uneducated populace is easier to cow, easier to control, and easier to enslave.” It is our duty in this age of excess to remain steadfast in learning about how the world works, to respect the central tenants of science and inquiry. Else we become cogs in a machine that’s bound to fail once there is no one with the knowledge left to operate it.
Aside from the typical bracket of STEM student activities (studying, sleeping, researching, etc.) I enjoy film and exploring different ways ideas can be communicated in film, across languages and ages. Additionally I enjoy long solitary walks where I simply take in my surroundings. Library hopping is also fun, picking up all the books that interest you and learning a thing or two. I also enjoy visiting museums in whatever new city I’m in, I collect postcards depicting pieces of art I especially enjoy – my room is covered with them!