Month: January 2017

Engineering – More Than Nuts and Bolts

I will be holding an internship position at Stabiltec Downhole Tools, an engineering firm based in Houston Texas. Throughout my two month stay, I will get to see what an engineer does everyday, investigating every stage of the manufacturing process, from design to sales.

Stabiltec designs and manufactures and sells large heavy duty drill bits, as well as other petroleum mining components. During my time there, I will learn what it really takes to be an engineer in the real world, and what it means to provide a good/service as a firm. I will have the opportunity to learn more about engineering management, business, and even industry dynamics, all while studying each stage of the manufacturing process. To put it bluntly, I will learn what it means to be an engineer and businessman in two months.

While this does sound over the top, my goal is to provide insight to those who are seeking a future in either engineering or entrepreneurship, and to prepare myself for my future in engineering as well.


Songs from Scratch: The Process of Independent Music Production

In my project, I plan to explore how aspects such as technology and instrumentation have affected the process of modern music-making. I will do this by working and observing the methods and equipment used by a professional audio designer in comparison to that of a home studio where more artists are beginning to produce beats and songs independently in the modern age. The internship will allow me to see the process of recording and mixing, as well as commercial and live sound design. My goal is to produce several of my own songs as a final product. 


The Politicization of Women’s Healthcare and its Effects on Provided Services

The purpose of this project is to help defend Planned Parenthood’s funding through advocacy and action, and in doing so, answer questions surrounding the politicization of women’s healthcare. I will participate in their Health Advocacy Program, encouraging individuals who have used Planned Parenthood services to share their stories. I will also participate in political activism and demonstrations organized by Planned Parenthood and other organizations in its network. I hope to answer questions about the historical reasons that women’s healthcare has become politicized and explore how this politicization has affected the services women are provided.

Behavioral issues in shelter dogs and statistically analyzing adoption patterns

I will be interning at Pima Paws for Life, this organization is a not-for-profit no kill cat and dog rescue shelter in Tucson. Through the span of my internship, I will be working one-on-one with these rescue animals. I will be helping the shelter by walking dogs, playing with dogs and cats, so they have human interaction and shadowing Pima Paws for Life personal veterinarian. My goal is to help animals, specifically dogs, from acquired behavioral issues while staying at the shelter. The main behavioral issues found in rescue animals are: food aggression, anxiety that comes from meeting new people and socializing issues with other dogs. Furthermore, if they already have behavioral issues I want to test which methods work best to overcome these animals specific issues. I plan to run my own statistical analysis where I will be analyzing which dogs and cats are adopted the quickest and which animals have to wait the longest. Lastly, I will create new, safe, low-cost cat enrichment toys, so that they can play and not get bored in their cages. I want to see what it takes for this shelter to be successful and how to make Pima Paws for Life more efficient.

Label-Free Molecular Sensing

Label-free molecular detection is the detection of chemicals without the use of a label.  The Judith Su Little Sensor Lab specializes in developing methods and technology for analyzing nanoparticles without the use of labels. The goal is to remove expensive and complicated labels that pose the risk of changing the molecular properties of the unknown from the process of nanoparticle identification in order to decrease the expenditure of time and money in molecular detection. This decrease will allow for more research to be done in fields involving nanoparticles such as medicine and chemistry.

During my internship, I will be involved in the fabrication and testing of the label-free sensors. More specifically, I will help produce the optical resonators used for detecting nanoparticles. I will also be finding samples of water sources that contain cyanobacteria and preforming tests using both the new sensors and traditionally proven ELISA, a label technique for identifying substances using antibodies, to determine water quality and assessing accuracy.

Social Anxiety: What is It? Who Suffers from it? How Can We Help?

For my project, I will be researching Social Anxiety what constitutes it, who suffers from it, and different ways in which actions can be taken to help those who suffer. I will be completing a case study and survey to gain a better understanding of what children deal with and the emotions they face when suffering from an anxiety attack. I will also be working on a Mindfulness program to be integrated into local schools such as ours, to provide a holistic approach to calming the mind, reducing stress and anxiety, and enhance their overall well-being.

Healthcare Microeconomics in a Small Medical Business

I would like to understand issues concerned with the efficiency, effectiveness, and value of the new APMs (Alternative Payment Models), MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP reauthorization Act) and MIPS (Merit-Based Incentive Payment Systems) programs which are part of the new Medicare Payment Reforms for physician reimbursement. I will work with the business associates of a medical clinic to better comprehend the medical business model. I would like to study how these new payment models can optimize the best treatment and management outcomes for patients along with adequate reimbursement of physicians.

Identifying the Indicators for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Cancer

Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNENs) are a rare form of pancreatic tumors. The most recent classification of these tumors was completed by the World Heath Organization in 2010 and subdivides the pNENs into three groups: NET G1, NET G2, and neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) based on proliferation rate. However, each individual classification includes a wide range of the tumors and does not further classify based on genetic background, whether the tumor is a primary tumor or it is metastasized, and tumor differentiation. By staining human tissue samples with antibodies, I will be able to highlight the cellular, stromal and nuclear parts of the cell. Using this information, our hope is to identify proteins that come from mutant genes and better classify the tumors. The ultimate goal is to be able to link mutations to biomarkers in order to determine based on the mutations the best course of treatment for patients. As a final project, I will prepare a research paper and present my findings to the faculty.


Spatial Memory Deficits in Aging Rats

I will be working at the University of Arizona’s Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute. Under the mentorship of neuroscientist Dr. Carol Barnes, I will be researching the cognitive effects and spatial memory deficits in normal aging rats. I will be using young and old live rats in carefully-designed experiments, such as mazes and mind tests to explore the changes that occur as rodents age. My research with rodents will serve as a model for memory decline in the aged. At the culmination of my research internship, I plan on writing a lab report.