Brooke Vogel

Brooke Vogel builds faculty and graduate student connections through internship

While Brooke Vogel is currently weighing her options when it comes to post-graduation plans, the Louise Rosenfeld Undergraduate Research Internship is giving her a taste of what attending graduate school might be like, should she choose to go.

Brooke, a junior in dietetics, had never done any research in the past, but was looking for an on-campus opportunity to help her gain experience for when the time comes to apply for dietetic internships. That new experience came in the form of the Rosenfeld internship.

“I’m interested in the biochemical side of nutrition,” said Brooke, who is researching nutrition and how it relates to polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that can cause enlarged ovaries with small cysts.

Brooke is working with Kevin Schalinske, professor of food science and human nutrition, and several graduate students on her research project. Brooke had Schalinske as a professor last semester and had already established a collegial relationship with him before he became her faculty mentor.

“If a student approaches me about doing a Rosenfeld [internship], it’s a ‘yes’, it’s a given,” said Schalinske. “I want them [students] to see what research is like and see what the life of a graduate student is like, and it gives them experience that will direct their future one way or another.” 

One of Brooke’s favorite parts about the internship is the fact that the graduate students in her lab are more than willing to help her learn and succeed. This support will go a long way when it comes time for her to apply for and complete a dietetic internship.  

“You get your own project and independence,” Brooke said. “They [the graduate students] really want me to learn how to be in a lab – there are no menial tasks.” 

While decisions about dietetic internships and graduate school are still months away, Brooke continues to develop her research skills and build on strong faculty and peer connections.

 “[The internship] is teaching me lab skills and what it would be like in grad school,” Brooke said. “It’s nice to have independence, and your work is appreciated by staff.”