By Wendy Sarubbi | October 29, 2012 12:35 pm

University of Central Florida senior Adrienne Showman knows the joys of discovery – whether working in a lab or studying abroad.

A molecular biology/microbiology major at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, Adrienne spent 10 weeks in Germany during the summer as part of the Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) program, sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service. She is one of fewer than 200 students selected out of about 1,800 applicants, and also  was named a Young Ambassador 2012-2013 to help promote the organization, a joint group of German institutions of higher education to support the international exchange of students.

“Don’t let course load or lab work or research get in the way of studying abroad. Science and research can take you anywhere across the globe,” said Adrienne, who volunteers in the lab of her mentor, Dr. Jingdong Ye, assistant professor of chemistry at the Burnett school.

Although she did not speak German, Adrienne said RISE offered a two-week language course in Munich before the internship began. She then went to Humboldt University in Berlin and worked with a doctoral student.  She helped collect data involving research into molecular genetics and obesity in mice.

There were minor differences in lab styles between UCF and Humboldt, but overall lab techniques were the same.

“Science requires standards. I felt at home in the lab,” Adrienne said. “The techniques we used in the laboratory reinforced what I have learned at UCF. It allowed me to apply the knowledge learned from UCF.”

Despite her heavy work schedule during the internship, Adrienne squeezed in visits to Dresden, Germany; Salzburg, Austria; Amsterdam; and Poland. And there were other advantages.

“The internship helps burnish my resume and expands networking opportunities,” she said. “It planted seeds for connections across the ocean.”

After graduating in spring 2013, Adrienne plans to continue her hard work in graduate school.

“Adrienne has demonstrated that she is a quick learner in my lab. With her broad knowledge in biology, focused research style, and great personality, she will have a bright future,” Dr. Ye said.


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