Working with my Mentor…

If you don’t know by now my mentor is Dr. Martin Kocanda. He is the Director of Electrical engineering laboratories for the College of Engineering at Northern Illinois University. He handles all lab sections for ELE classes. Working with Dr. Kocanda has been a great experience. He is very knowledgable and humble. He has a wide background in the sciences and that is because he has degrees in chemistry, computer science and electrical engineering. My favorite part about working with Dr. Kocanda is that he is very laid-back and very intelligent. He gives me the chance to take initiative and gives me corrections when I need them. He is a great resource for connecting me to industry partners of the university.

Currently, we are about on track with our research. Our new computer and other equipment that we ordered arrived and we have a mini station set up in Dr. Elsawa’s lab in the biology department. We are making media and are in the process of inoculating E.Coli for the testing of our sensors and collecting data. We are going to run multiple tests with our sensor and see how the bacteria reacts when put on the sensor and we will analyze the growth curve as well. With this plan in mind, we are working with our timeline and we are hoping to get significant results from all of our tests.

As a Simmon Scholar, I am honored to be awarded an extra stipend for my efforts with my research. However, it is my duty as a student leader to inspire students to take on extracurricular activities. So even before I was awarded the Simmon Scholar I have been telling and engaging my fellow students about the benefits of the research that I’m doing and about the great work the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL) has been doing to open up opportunities for students. I hope that I get to sit on panels to discuss research with students because I hope to inspire potential students to achieve great feats within and without the classroom.

Stay hungry,



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