Personal Statement for Purdue University Veterinary

Research Statement for Purdue University Veterinary Scholars Summer Research
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.