Meet the OUR Ambassadors

Hello, We’re the OUR Ambassadors! We are NC State undergraduate students who help connect other undergraduate students with the research experience at NC State, which includes:

  • promote undergraduate research on campus
  • serve as peer mentors to students interested in a research experience
  • help the OUR maintain student-focused programs across a wide array of disciplines
  • bridge mentor relations and build partnerships within their college
  • serve as peer reviewers for the undergraduate statewide research journal Explorations

We can be found online using GPS during our office hours [listed below in Eastern Time] by appointment or drop in. Feel free to [virtually] visit any of us during our office hours to help you along the way to undergraduate research!

Click here to make an appointment!

Kees

College/Major: College of Humanities & Social Sciences / Anthropology & Linguistics

Minor: Spanish

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Year: Senior

Other Spoken Languages: Spanish

Virtual Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 1:30 – 2:30p

MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
University Honors
Rowing Club

HOW I GOT STARTED:
Over the summer before my freshman year, I began sending emails around to faculty in the sociology and anthropology department to ask about possible research opportunities. The faculty member who would later advise my first research project was the first one to reply, and I began my undergraduate research career as an assistant of sorts to her.

CURRENT RESEARCH:
I currently focus my research towards increasing the visibility of linguistics and linguistic techniques in a K-12 environment. Previous findings support that linguistics offers an accessible approach to the processes of science, equips students with appropriate tools to navigate an increasingly connected, multicultural world, and creates an opportunity for new career pathways for students. I am currently an instructor at a local high school, providing and assessing instruction in linguistics to two sections of an English course.

ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED:
Send the email! Most faculty are receptive to undergraduate inquiries about their research, and while not all are necessarily looking for help or advisees, the worst that will happen is you’ll be politely turned down. Never be afraid to reach out to someone whose work deeply interests you, no matter how high-profile they may seem.

Malone

College/Major: College of Agriculture & Life Sciences / Biochemistry

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Year: Junior

Virtual Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 11:30 -12:30p

MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
University Honors/Scholars
Sorority
Clubs
Learning Fellowship

HOW I GOT STARTED:
I got started in undergraduate research by reaching out to a professor and asking if they would meet with me sometime. When I met with the professor she offered me a spot in her lab and I have been working with her ever since then.

CURRENT RESEARCH:
My current focus is on prostate cancer cells and performing experiments on prostate cancer line cells. Additionally, I have been developing a research project with my mentor looking at a chemical to prevent lung damage due to COVID-19.
ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED:
When you decide you want to do research look on your major’s website at all the professors and read a little about their projects. Pick the three that sound most interesting and just email those professors!

Riley

College/Major: College of Science / Chemistry

Minor: Vocal Performance

Hometown: Asheville, NC

Year: Senior

Virtual Office Hours: Thursday 11a – 1p

AFFILIATIONS:
Caldwell Scholar
Chemistry Honors

HOW I GOT STARTED:
I got started by looking on the chemistry website where I found a professor whose research interested me. I shot him an email and set up a meeting. It was a good fit and everything started from there.

CURRENT RESEARCH:
I work with D8 platinum complexes. I’m researching the synthetic routes and properties of d8 complexes of platinum, looking at the “ligand-to-ligand” charge transfer band dynamics of platinum complexes with diimine or bipyridine donors and catecholate acceptors.

ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED:
Dig deep into the upcoming moments of self-discovery. As you learn more about the world around you, you’ll learn more about yourself, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Mariam

College/Major: College of Engineering / Chemical Engineering

Hometown: Cary, NC

Year: Junior

Other Spoken Languages: Hindi, Urdu

Virtual Office Hours: Tuesday 3-5p

MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
Social Innovation Fellow
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Society of Asian Engineers

HOW I GOT STARTED:
I participated in a REU program which allowed me to get started in a lab within my field. I have continued researching in that same lab since.

CURRENT RESEARCH:
I research Alzheimer’s disease using C.elegans (a simple worm) as the model organism. The goal of the project is to determine which proteins cause neuronal degradation and how the disease progresses over the patient’s lifetime.

ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED:
Find your interests! There is a lot of interesting research going on in many different fields, and you will find something that you like that also aligns with you goals.

Tim

College/Major: College of Sciences / Physics and Mathematics

Hometown: Pittsboro, NC

Year: Senior

Virtual Office Hours: Tuesday 12 – 1p

MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
Sigma Pi Sigma
Society of Physics Students

HOW I GOT STARTED:
I took a course with Dr Kemper – Intro to Scientific Computing. After the class, Dr Kemper reached out to me and said he needed people for research.

CURRENT RESEARCH:
Thermodynamics and electron-hole liquids

ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED:
Just start talking to professors who you think do cool research!

Frances

College/Major: College of Engineering / Aerospace Engineering

Hometown: Durham, NC

Year: Junior

Virtual Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 9:30 – 10:30a

MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
High Powered Rocketry Club
MAE Ambassadors

HOW I GOT STARTED:
I got my start in undergrad research by looking on my departmental website for topics and professors that interested me and reaching out via email. My advisor met with me, discussed research possibilities, and set me up with a graduate student whom I worked under until I received my independent project assignment.

CURRENT RESEARCH:
I’m currently in transition between projects, but my previous research experience dealt with the aerodynamic properties surrounding a quarter portion of a rocket with rotating fin. I wanted to investigate whether or not such a device (with a rotating fin) would generate lift and help the craft reach higher altitudes, cruise with less fuel use, and be more accurate.

ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED:
Be interested! Potential advisors want students who are passionate and well-read in the field. Researchers often have their papers available on the NCSU Libraries website, and even though you might not be able to understand every term, reading up shows that you’re interested and willing to learn quickly.

FUN FACT:
My favorite musical instrument is the pipe organ, which I liked to play in my free time before social distancing practices were in place.

Nick

College/Major: College of Engineering / Biomedical Engineering

Hometown: Wilmington, NC

Year: Senior

Virtual Office Hours: Monday and Friday 4-5p

MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
Gilero R&D Intern
Helping Hands
Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity

HOW I GOT STARTED:
I had been involved in a research based club in high school and my interest continued on into college! I initially got involved with research here at NC State after meeting my now Principal Investigator (mentor) at the undergraduate research speed networking event.

CURRENT RESEARCH:
My current research focus on Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation which is a condition in which blood clots start forming though out the body. Once formed, these blood clots can restrict and even cut off blood flow to vital organs leading to permanent organ damage or organ failure.

ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED:
Explore! Don’t be afraid to try several research environments or types of research. Each opportunity, whether it be the ideal research environment or not, gives you better insight into what you ultimately want to focus on in your career.

FUN FACT:
I once missed my connecting flight from the Netherlands to Switzerland and had to take a 14 hour train ride over night to get back to America.

Dana

College/Major: College of Sciences / Microbiology

Hometown: White Plains, NY

Year: Junior

Virtual Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 11a-12p

MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
University Honors
Service Sorority

HOW I GOT STARTED:
I got started in undergraduate research by looking through COS faculty websites and finding projects that interested me. I emailed those professors and set up meetings. I finally found a lab that clicked both for me and for my current mentor.

CURRENT RESEARCH:
My current research focuses on the effect that persistent man-made chemicals have on the innate immune system. I specifically look for the effect that those chemicals have on cells in the respiratory system.

ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED:
Be persistent, be authentic! Find a few projects that you are genuinely interested in and make sure those professors know. Don’t be afraid to send a follow-up email.

FUN FACT:
I enjoy running and baking in my free time!

Yussef

College/Major: College of Humanities & Social Sciences / Quantitative Behavioral Science (IDS)

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Year: Senior

Other Spoken Languages: Arabic

Virtual Office Hours: Monday 2-3p, Thursday 10-11a, Friday 3-4p

MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
McNair Scholar

HOW I GOT STARTED:
On the first day of class, my cognitive psychology professor seemed really cool and open. I went to talk to him after class, and told him I was interested in participating in research. Him being a PhD student, he was eager to have students to help him out.

CURRENT RESEARCH:
I currently do epidemiology research – I am working with students and professors from UNC School of Public Health, NCCU, and other institutions as well. We are analyzing health disparities between patients who are at risk or who have HPV.

ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED:
Go in with an open mindset – no one really knows what they’re doing when they begin research. Just because you don’t know certain things initially doesn’t mean you can’t ever learn.

FUN FACT:
I have over 80 first cousins!

Emily

College/Major: College of Humanities & Social Sciences and College of Sciences / Psychology and Biology

Hometown: Wilmington, NC

Year: Senior

Virtual Office Hours: Friday 11a-1p

MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
Psychology Club
CHASS Ambassador
Association for Psychological Science

HOW I GOT STARTED:
I started off by asking my professor about her research and letting her know that I was interested in being a part of her team. My first few semesters, I worked directly under graduate students and helped them with their research. Now, I’m working on conducting my own independent research.

CURRENT RESEARCH:
I’m currently studying the impact of social media use (specifically Instagram use) on levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms in college students. This generation of college students has unusually high rates of mental illness compared to other generations, and I’m interested in seeing if social media use influences this. I will be using a “daily diary” to track participants’ mood, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and Instagram use over a period of several days to determine if there is any relationship between these variables.

ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO GET STARTED:
Ask your professors about their research and let them know that you’re interested! The easiest way to find research opportunities is by directly contacting your professors; even if they don’t have availability in their lab, they may be able to direct you towards someone who is currently taking new undergraduate researchers.