I’m Mya Roberson and for the past academic year I have been the author behind the CRC FIRe blog. Today is my final shift at the CRC and I thought that I would post some final reflections on my experiences with fellowships and research at Brown, as well as on my role as the FiRE Coordinator this year.
I was fortunate to have an AP Biology teacher in high school who was so wildly passionate about science in research. As students in his class, we would always try to get him to diverge from the prescribed curriculum and tell us about his experience conducting research for his graduate work. While others may have viewed these digressions as tangents, they were where the real learning took place for me. Sparked by my innate curiosity for finding out more about everything I knew that I wanted to do research when I got to Brown.
I was fortunate in my freshman year that I stumbled upon great mentorship from a professor who took me under his wing and allowed me to work on one of his projects in my first spring semester. I was nervous that I would mess things up, I came in with no hard skills, but that was all part of the process I quickly came to find out. If we all knew everything already there would be nothing to learn.
From that point on, I was hooked on research, I loved how I got to go in every day and just ask and work on solving questions. I had spent the rest of my Brown undergraduate career trying to figure out what type of research really inspired me and was something I could see myself working on long term. Through some more great mentorship as well as inspiring courses, I found my calling at the intersection of science and public service by doing public health research on cancer disparities in marginalized populations.
This new found interest led me to conduct research at Princeton University as part of the Leadership Alliance, in Birmingham, AL as a Royce Fellow, and finally at Brown as a senior honors thesis writer. Having the opportunity to conduct independent research on a topic that I love cemented my future plans to go to graduate school and become a career researcher. There are so many questions that remain unanswered, particularly within the realm of health disparities and I hope that I can one day leave my mark within that area of knowledge.
In my role as the CRC Fellowships, Internships, and Research Coordinator over the past year I made it my goal to increase awareness of fellowship and research opportunities, particularly for historically underrepresented groups, and support students to the best of my ability as they worked through their applications. This blog has been an act of consolidating resources and opportunities for students into one neat place. While it is by no means comprehensive, I enjoy the fact that students can identify opportunities, read up on application tips, and see student experiences all in one place.
Supporting students with their applications has by far been the most gratifying part of my job. I have gotten so see so many students’ passions from history to physics and everything in between. Having seen so many great proposals and applications gives me great hope for the next generation of scholarship. It has been a wonderful year for me in this role and I look forward to seeing what future scholarship comes out of Brown.