Spring 2013 URSP Participant Patrick Maloney:
I discovered the OSCAR program through a teacher I had for one of my classes here at Mason. I did well in her class and she encouraged me to apply for the program. After looking into the opportunity a little more, I quickly decided to develop a research plan and apply for the program.
With a background in environmental science and a concentration in environmental health, I decided to look into the effects of mercury on childhood leukemia. Through the classes I have taken at Mason, I have become interested in the various negative effects of air pollution on the human body and therefore wanted to get a more in depth understanding of some of the problems. This, coupled with my grandfather’s passing due to leukemia, gave me a subject area I am quite passionate about.
In order to complete my research, I spend about an hour meeting with my mentor each week. During this time, we develop goals and a strategy to complete those goals each week. After this meeting, I typically spend time that same day researching or analyzing data. This week in particular, I discovered that the EPA database I will be using is extremely vast and incorporates data for many air pollutants across the entire country for the last 60 years.
After college, I hope to pursue a career in the field of science and thus, the research skills I am developing are not only excellent for my future workplace, but the program itself stands out on a student resume.