Research Rookies Reception….Simmon Scholar announcement and so on

Harry and Jamie Simmons and I

The Research Rookies Reception was great. It’s always great when I get to talk with other bright students and to hear about the research they are doing and how they are doing with classes. It was truly inspiring and motivating for me.

It started off with mingling and hors d’oeuvres and then Dr. Spears, Director of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL) began formalities with a brief introduction speech and overview of the Research Rookies program. She then called on two former Research Rookies students Lauren Boddy and Evan Wittke to give speeches on their undergraduate research experiences thus far. I was marveled by all the great things they did and are currently doing. They are both embodiments of academic excellence and two bright students worth emulating.   

Then came the part where the videos of all the current Research Rookies gave a brief introduction of themselves and the projects they were doing. I was especially nervous about this because I am not used to watching myself on video especially not with many others watching me as well. Nonetheless, it went well, they were some funny ones but my little part was okay.

The most interesting part of the Research Rookies Reception  for me was the announcement of the Simmon Scholar recipients. I had put my heart out into writing the essay for the application to be a Simmon Scholar and when my name was called I was first as one of the recipients I was beyond ecstatic. At first, it took me awhile to realize it was me but when I did I was all smiles while I was walking up to the front of the audience to shake Mr. and Mrs. Simmon’s hands. I had a huge sense of pride while Dr. Spears was reading an excerpt from my essay and it was huge boost of morale for me to continue working on my research with Dr. Kocanda as like with what Mr. Harry Simmon said in his speech, “…You can envision some of these projects growing into serious research and attracting major funding someday down the road.”

I’ve had so many great opportunities stem out from this experience so far and I can not wait what the future has in store. I will ensure that I publicize this blog more on other social media sites so other students can see the great things that this program equips students with. I will especially advertise Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day (URAD) so everyone can see the awesome and wonderful research projects that students at NIU are partaking in.

On a final note, it means so much to me that I was chosen to be a Simmon Scholar. It shows that my work is substantial and my efforts were recognized. I am immensely grateful and  highly appreciative to Harry and Jaymie Simmon for their generosity and support to this great program.

Till I write again,



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