Research Statement for Purdue University Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program Written by: Kacie Boden So far, I have participated in two research experiences. This internship will help me fine tune what I have gained from a previous research experience and my current research experience. My research experiences have been divergent in fields, but have both guided me to my chosen field; I have been given a chance to explore two separate fields and hope to explore another in your summer internship program. My introduction to research began September 2009 in Dr. Eric Miller’s Chemistry lab at San Juan College. The project title was, “Silicon Micro Sphere Terminated Conducting Polymers for Neural Interfaces;” the goal of my work was to find a way to use silicon for potential retinal replacement procedures. The goal yielded a complex assortment of tasks: depositing silicon at room temperature, decreasing the amount of chlorine in our samples, learning the operations of the Scanning Electron Microscope JOEL 848A, using gas chromatography, gaining a better understanding of pressure systems along with creating semiconductors, and the correct use of electro deposition. These techniques produced important data that I was able to present at a state-wide conference (NM INBRE). The problems scientists often face like trouble attaining data, and presenting work to the general public made me into a better scientist. I quickly learned how to present my data to both scientist and the general public along with how to problem solve by thinking critically to persist when research goes awry. It is amazing how much I truly learned in the ten months I was in his lab, the experiences I gained, and passion for research that was ignited. Although the research was unrelated to the veterinary profession, my passion for my research along with attending NM INBRE prompted me to examine the research around me for what else was available in my chosen field. The time I spent in Dr. Miller’s lab awakened a new avenue (research) to pursue my love of animals and veterinary medicine; it made me interested in DVM/PhD programs. My current research experience is through NIH MBRS RISE to the Doctorate Program at New Mexico State University. I was accepted in August 2010, and will be in this program until I graduate with my Bachelors of Science in Animal Science. Dr. Clint Loest from the Department of Animal and Range Sciences is my current mentor. The RISE program promotes mentoring, enlarges my professional social network, and requires me to maintain my own research project. My project is based on testing the effects of a yucca extract created anti-bloat drug on ruminant fermentation products of feedlot cattle. To this purpose, I have learned to collect rumen contents from ruminally canulated heifers, create and mix a high concentrate diet similar to that seen in feedlots, and prepare samples to test rumen for ammonia and volatile fatty acids; I am prepared to learn new techniques that will aid my research project. Currently, I am preparing my data on ruminant nutrition to present at multiple conferences this year: URCAS, ABRCMS, SACNAS, and Western-ASAS and am currently working on my first publication.