Research Rookies Reception

Year in School: Sophomore
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan

It’s been a very busy month with the preparations for finals and trying to finish with all the data for my Research, now I am glad and looking forward to start winter break next week.



The Research Rookies Reception was held on December 1st and it was great. It was truly inspirational to personally talk to all the other students and hear about their research experience and all the great experiences they’ve had. It started off with Dr. Spears giving a brief introduction speech and overview of the Research Rookies program. She then called on two former Research Rookies students to give a speech on their undergraduate research experience thus far and about all the great things they are currently doing, they are both great embodiments of academic excellence.

Then the part came where all the current research rookies had to give a brief introduction of themselves and about the research they are conducting. I was extremely nervous because personally I have stage fright and giving a speech doesn’t really work out too well for me. But nonetheless, it went surprising well and President Baker and everyone else seemed actually interested when I was telling them about my research.

The most interesting part about the reception was the announcement of the Simmon’s Scholar recipients. I was beyond ecstatic when my name was called as the first recipient. It was completely unexpected because almost all the STEM majors applied for it and to be selected from the talented bunch in this program was really surprising. This was a huge boost for me to continue working on my research for a long time with Dr. Kocanda and I am extremely grateful to him. It means so much to me that I was chosen to be a Simmon Scholar. It shows that my work is substantial and my efforts are recognized and I am highly appreciative to Mr. and Mrs. Simmon for their generosity and support to this program.

Hope you all have a wonderful winter break!

Namra Aziz

Written by Namra Aziz

I am also involved in University Honors Program, Pre-Professional Club, Muslim Students Association, Alpha Phi Omega. My academic goal is to make the most out of my undergraduate experience at NIU and to get my name published on a research article. I want to graduate with a strong GPA, hopefully attend medical school and receive a M.D. My career goal is to become a doctor, preferably a cardiologist. Being a Research Rookies means I am one step closer to getting into medical school. It will help me further my academic and career goals by giving me the opportunity to work in a research lab and explore my interests in a field that I love. Working close to a faculty mentor who is so experienced and can guide me in the right path will not only help me learn so much about research but will also help me grow as a person. The Research Rookies Program also opens up so many more opportunities even after the program to obtain a unique skill set and find great contacts to people with similar interests.