July 14, 2014

Intern Profile: Emerald Kaitryn ’15

Meet Emerald Kaitryn ’15, a psychology major and intern at Oregon Health & Science University.
Emerald Kaitryn ’15

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska 

Can you tell us what you’re doing this summer? What are your basic duties as an intern?
For the last two summers I have worked in a lab at Oregon Health & Science University studying key proteins implicated in Parkinson’s disease. Most of what I do as an intern in my research lab is very hands-on. I’m also lucky to be able to personally see multiple steps of my projects through to completion.

I do a lot of tissue preparation for protein analysis, as well as imaging specific locations in the brain using a fluorescent microscope. I also get to analyze the data from my images to provide the lab with a report on what my protein of interest appears to be doing and whether or not we expected that result.

How has Lewis & Clark supported you in the process of finding, securing, and funding your internship?

I absolutely would not have found this internship without the support I got at Lewis & Clark. It was thanks to the small class size of my Introduction to Neuroscience course that I was able to make a personal connection with my professor that ultimately led to finding a volunteer opportunity at OHSU. After I secured my unpaid internship, it would have been impossible to dedicate myself full-time without financial support from the Miller award that helped pay for the cost of living in Portland over the summer.

How do you see this internship leading to a career in your chosen field and aiding in your overall career development?

It has been easy for me to come up with multiple possible career paths and much harder to narrow down a specific field of interest. If I hadn’t worked in scientific research over the last two summers, I wouldn’t have had the experience to decide where I need to focus my graduate studies and if I want to keep a career in research as an option.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your experience thus far?

No matter how many researchers I may have talked to, I would never have had an accurate glimpse of what this career is actually like without spending a summer as a full-time intern. It is absolutely necessary for students to get these experiences before making decisions about their undergraduate and postgraduate trajectories. The insight I’ve gained is all thanks to the support I’ve received from Lewis & Clark.

The purpose of the Miller Summer Internship Award is to underwrite or supplement expenses of students at Lewis & Clark College who are engaged in scientific research internships in the mathematical and natural sciences. This opportunity is made possible by a generous grant from the Miller Foundation. 

Career Development Psychology Department