My name is Janelly Eralte. I have a Bachelor’s degree in biology and most recently, earned a second Bachelor’s degree in Health Science. Through out the summer, I have been working in Prof. Smyth’s lab with Molly Metz in what I call “the Hand dryers’ experiment.” This is an ongoing project that Professor Smyth and I started. This research project questions three popular bathroom machines used to dry an individual’s hands and the presumptive bacteria on them. I am extremely thankful to be given the opportunity to not only start the project but being able to see it through.
Working in Dr. Smyth’s lab has truly been a great and most cherished experience. I have volunteered and done research with Dr. Smyth since Spring 2017. Through the research course, I have witnessed the progression, the strides that have been made by us undergrads and Dr. Smyth. Being able to do research with her, has allowed me to explore new depths, to challenge myself, recognize possible errors, inquire about new research methods and more. In the beginning, it’s a lot about paper work, reading scientific research papers, learning proper documentation, deciphering data, understanding what your reading, asking questions, making connections… But then it gets a little more interesting. It gets to the point where we put a plan into place, we ask ourselves, what can be done differently or what can be added to further the research study. Then we build a step by step formula and see where that formula leads the research. Being able to do research, allowed me to think outside the confinements of a box.
In a nutshell, Dr. Smyth’s research has allowed me to explore, and get hands on experience about what it takes to do a research project from the very start. Not only has the course allowed me to focus on my project but also be intrigued by other areas of research, some done by my peers. I have witnessed and experienced, the evolution of the hand dryers’ experiment which has literally gone from an idea, to a direction, to a plan and an execution, and I have loved every bit of it.