McQuaide selected to participate in the NIH College Summer to Advance College Research (CSOAR) Program
- Molly Taylor
- Friday, September 25th, 2020
Lauren McQuaide, a junior from Columbia who studies chemistry and biology, was selected for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) College Summer Opportunities to Advance Research (CSOAR) program to conduct biomedical research for the summer of 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her program was moved to the summer of 2021.
McQuaide said she’s looking forward to this important experience that will assist in her goal of becoming a pharmacist.
“I applied to several internships for the summer of 2020, but NIH was my top choice because it combined research with medicine,” McQuaide said. “Most of my applications I submitted for summer programs were done while I studied abroad at Harlaxton. The WKU Office of Scholar Development also helped me finalize some applications when I returned.”
When McQuaide studied abroad last fall at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England, which is about an hour north of London, she had several mentors to provide her with guidance while applying for the NIH research program. She also had the chance to visit thirteen countries and meet several new friends and mentors.
While at Harlaxton, McQuaide studied Biochemistry and had a very different experience than most do in that course.
“There were only three or four chemistry students in biochemistry, so our professor was very accessible to the students in that class,” McQuaide said.
In addition to being selected for the NIH CSOAR program and studying abroad, McQuaide is also involved in several organizations on campus such as Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), where she has served as the community coordinator and volunteered at elementary schools in the Bowling Green area. She is also a chemistry department ambassador, where she works with prospective students, and she is a chemistry lab teaching assistant on campus.
Through her experiences at WKU, she’s learned the soft skills that will help her in her future career as a pharmacist.
“I have gained the ability to relate to people and understand them, which will be very important when I am a pharmacist,” McQuaide said.
McQuaide already has a very good idea of what life after the Hill will be like. Next summer, she will apply to pharmacy school at the University of Kentucky, where she hopes to earn her doctorate in pharmacy. She would like to work in a clinical setting, such as a hospital, where she can specialize in pediatrics, oncology, or another medical specialty.
McQuaide has considered WKU her home since she attended a WKU admissions tour in high school, and she’s especially grateful for the faculty and staff at WKU that have helped her achieve her goals.
“Connecting with people in the administration who are so encouraging and supportive has been one of the biggest assets to my college experience. It reminds me that someone is in my corner,” McQuaide said.