Briyana Mondesir '22
Adanced Research Cohort with Margaret Anne Hinkle
I was an incoming freshman at Washington and Lee, beginning to come to terms with the homesickness blues and the new college environment I would be living in. When I had previously visited W&L, I was struck by its natural beauty and its standing within the academic community. I was looking forward to entering the school in the fall with my other peers and begin the newest chapter of my life. I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to spend five weeks before the fall semester began doing research.
From mid-June to early July, I worked in Professor Margret Anne Hinkle's geochemistry lab primarily synthesizing minerals. The research was focused around biomineralizing fungi called Manganese. Over the course of a couple weeks, I attempted to create synthetic Manganese on which we would be able to test a variety of buffers. During this process, I learned, among other things, how to use a pipette, centrifuge, and analyze an XRD scan. Although I struggled with always understanding the different components of the research, this invaluable experience allowed me to acclimate to college life and develop new research and laboratory skills. I would have never thought that as an inexperienced, fresh out of high school student I could have been able to do this. Yet, with the help of Professor Hinkle and my lab partners, I did it!