RISE Scholar Maria Scaccia reflects on her summer research experience

Posted: September 21, 2021

Author: Maria Scaccia, RISE Program participant, 2021

The RISE program was the most academically influential experience I have ever joined. I ended up surprising myself with how much I could learn and contribute to my research project in such a short time. My reading, writing, and analysis skills increased significantly alongside my ability to communicate my findings. Although this experience was new and ranged in difficulty, I was not alone. Between my lab supervisors, graduate mentor, and RISE peers, I could always find someone to help or to talk to when I was stuck or needed guidance.
Sharing my research at the final poster presentation was the best feeling ever. Though words cannot fully describe it - I was overjoyed to explain a research topic I was not only passionate about but also how I contributed to it. It was a true testament to the work I had completed and my growth as a researcher.
The RISE program allowed me to experience a part of myself that I had no idea existed. I didn’t think I could do research, apply to graduate school, or even work on sustainable energy, but all of that has changed. Research is now at the forefront of my academic journey and I see it as a big part of my future. Overall, I am very thankful to have been a part of the RISE program as it helped me grow into a much more knowledgeable and confident person, student, and researcher.