As the end of the program approaches, I find it really hard to believe that 7 weeks just went by. I remember contemplating what was in store for us and how in the world was I going to complete a research and artistry project in 8 weeks. Looking back now, I have a lot to be grateful for and I’m excited to showcase my work. Although at times it was hard to manage my schedule and some tasks seemed really daunting, I have had so many wonderful experiences. I’ve met and learned from NIU alumni members who I would never have met on my own. I’ve made new friendships with my fellow McKearn Fellows. I have grown academically and professionally, and I have completed a research and artistry project. All accomplished in the last 7 weeks. I would never have guessed I would be where I am now if someone had asked me 3 months ago, and I am proud of this summer experience.
My experiences will carry forward into my academic and professional life. I’ve had the opportunity to put into practice combining research and artistry; this is an invaluable experience for me because I want to continue to do this sort of research and artistry in the future. Also, I plan to go into Medical/Scientific Illustration after I graduate from NIU, and this project has allowed me to get an idea of what it will be like. I’ve also learned new techniques and gained more practice, which is always a good thing. I have gained more experience with research practices, writing, and public presentation. I have also gained a lot of knowledge about networking and leadership skills. These are all aspects that I will carry forward into my future career.
The most important things I will take away from this experience are building good relationships with others and the significance of giving back to your community. Your relationships with your colleagues are very important. The support that they give you help you reach your goals and without that support you will likely not achieve them. Giving back to your community is immensely important. Without the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. McKearn and all of the other NIU Alumni members involved, I would not have this wonderful opportunity and I would not have grown as much as I have. I will take this lesson and remember to give back to my community whenever I can.
I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. McKearn for this amazing opportunity. I would like to thank my mentor Cynthia Hellyer Heinz for her guidance and support throughout this program. I want to thank the McKearn Team for their guidance and support throughout this summer. I would also like to thank the Alumni members for meeting with us and sharing their experiences. Last but not least, I would like to say I am extremely grateful for my fellow McKearn Fellows. I am so glad I have had the opportunity to get to know all of you and share these experiences with you. I hope we can all keep in touch and look back on our experiences with a smile. Thank you.