We are grateful to hear the experiences of our wonderful Fellows and partners! Below are several testimonials dictating individuals’ experiences as part of the PIE program. If you are interested in a complete photo album, click here.

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Paulina Szarejko, Biology major at Central Connecticut State University (left), with CCSU partner site director Dr. Sadie Marjani (center) and CCSU Biology Dept Chair, Dr. Douglas Carter.  Paulina did her PIE summer research with Dr. Sangamesh Kumbar in the Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery, UConn Health.

“The seminars have been very inspiring. It is amazing to see how [some of the TIP CEOs] began their research when they were either students or on their own, but because they had such a strong team they were able to accomplish their goals and create startup companies to change the face of medicine”. -Paulina Szarejko

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Trinity College partnership summer fellows Emilio Viteri, Biomedical Engineering (left), and Ilan Crawley, Neurobiology (middle), with Trinity College partnership site director Dr. Alison Draper.  Emilio did his summer research with Dr. Colleen Krause in the Dept of Chemistry, University of Hartford; Ilan did her summer research at UConn Health with Dr. Rosa Guzzo, Dept of Neuroscience. Ilan had the honor to be chosen as Trinity’s speaker at Innovation Fellows Research Day.

“Ilan is a highly motivated, hard-working and bright student. Ilan displays a genuine interest in research, and is gaining independence and confidence in many aspects of her summer project” -Dr.Rosa Guzzo

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Southern Connecticut State University partner site director Dr. Nick Edgington (far left) with SCSU Executive Director of Research and Innovation Dr. Christine Broadbridge (far right), along with SCSU partnership fellows and biology majors, Khushbu Patel (center left) and Lucas Galster (center right).

“I’ve gained so much confidence which has helped my performance greatly. I know I can carry this new confidence throughout my academic career and future”. -Lucas Galster

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Leigh Knopft, Director of Institutional Advancement at Tunxis Community College, with James Greene, Engineering major and Tunxis CC student, who did his summer research with Dr. Mikhail Blinov, Dept of Genetics, UConn Health.

Everything is going well with my PIE fellowship placement. [I have] an excellent mentor, designing what I have been working on is interesting, and the other students I have met are all a pleasure to be around”. -James Greene

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UConn Nursing student Eliza Baker sharing her poster with School of Nursing Dean Dr. Deborah Chyun at Innovation Fellows Research Day.  Eliza did her summer research with Dr. Glenn Flores, Chief Research Officer for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and she is continuing her research with him the Fall as an Independent Study project.

“I am learning a lot about the research process, like how to carry the project from start to finish, and work with a team to see an idea through. I have been able to explore the profession of research nursing through the support of my mentors and staff members”. -Eliza Baker

Javiera Klenner, UConn McNair Scholar, WIMSE scholar (Women in Math, Science, and Engineering) and Molecular and Cell Biology major, with her PIE summer research mentor Ashley Kalinauskas, founder and CEO of Torigen Pharmaceuticals, a UConn TIP startup company.

I absolutely love it here. This has been the highlight of my summer. My coworkers are really fun and great to have around, my [mentor] is extremely smart and kind, and I love the work we’re doing and how we are able to make a difference in the world”. -Javiera Klenner

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Bruno Lemos

I’m able to network with other people in the program, as well as CEOs and Founders of other TIP companies that are willing to share their experiences”. -Bruce Lemos

“Bruno has made significant progress towards [his] objectives, having quickly learned the necessary bench laboratory skills. Furthermore, Bruno has taken full ownership of his project, independently managing its execution and providing high-level perspective on how the results fit into our overall development plan”. -Matt Hanley, Thesis mentor

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Matt Costello

I have learned more about how to conduct myself in a lab and how to approach research in these past six weeks than I have through any other experience I’ve had to date. I greatly enjoy working with [my mentor], he is a wealth of information and appropriately challenges me to become a better scientist and a more critical thinker…

…I particularly appreciate how research is conducted in a startup company. I have learned a great deal about how to manage multiple related projects on a fluid timeline and how science may be used creatively to solve real-world problems”. -Matt Costello

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Jeff Obrien, UConn School of Medicine

This fellowship placement has given me the opportunity to hear from speakers that have expanded my horizons of what I can accomplish in research. The networking opportunities of this program have been invaluable.” -Jeff Obrien

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Brittany Nelson, McNair Scholar, UConn School of Engineering did her research with Dr Liisa Kuhn, UConn Health Biomedical Engineering Dept. Brittany is continuing her research this Fall as Independent Study.

Working on this project has taught me the importance of setting deadlines and doing things in a timely manner. I have spoken to doctors and medical students for this project, which has taught me how to communicate with others. I have also had to learn to listen to other people’s ideas and suggestions instead of simply my own. My perspective has definitely changed by listening to what others have to say, and it has helped the project develop in a positive way.”

“I like that my PIE fellowship placement provides me with a project that is unique and completely different from anything I thought I would ever work on. My project forces me to think critically and to think outside-the-box, which I really like”. -Brittany Nelson