Wai-Kit Chia Shares His Experience at a UMD Conference

Wai-Kit Chia Shares His Experience at a McNair Conference

"This is my first conference experience. I really enjoyed and am appreciative of this experience. Through this conference, I have learned so much about the path of different McNair scholars to obtain their doctoral degree. With their sharing, I understand that there are many obstacles to overcome in order to achieve the dream to become a fully doctoral graduate.

 In addition, with the extensive network opportunities within the McNair conferences, I have met different students, faculty and staff across multitude fields of interest. For instance, I met with a chemical engineering professor at the University of Maryland. Her name is Amy J. Karlsson. After learning about her career, I have realized that there are so many possible ways to combine science with engineering. Her research interest focuses on protein engineering, biomolecular recognition and fungal disease. Her research amazes me in the way she uses the engineering knowledge to model and cultivate a new understanding of the molecular biology. Since this is still a relatively young field, it expands my view on the aspect of engineering. After the conference, I also had a phone meeting with her to learn more about the industry and her research. Because of her, I consider taking some engineering courses to familiarize myself with this industry.

Through this conference, I have also met a valuable future connection. His name is Adrian. He is currently a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering. His research interest is immunology which is different from the other engineers that I met so far. He explained to me his interest of immunology with the aspect of engineering. It is interesting when we both had a good discussion about drug specificity and target. He is knowledgeable in this topic. His career aspiration is to pursue a doctoral degree in chemical engineering and continue conducting biomedical research. Hopefully, I can learn more from him in the future.

Overall, I want to conclude that this conference is a definite good opportunity to learn and explore other scholars’ career and academic interests. This conference also helps develop my career path in which provides an alternative direction to distinguish my passion of biomedical research. I highly suggest this conference to the next cohort and any student who is truly committed to pursue a doctoral degree." 

Thank you for sharing Chia. We are delighted to witness the benefits of the McNair program in the success and professional growth of our students!