IMPORTANT NOTE: All statements by students are original and unedited. None of the statements have been edited, added to or altered in any way.
College: American River College
The CBST Winter Internship, being part of a research team and have Dr. Corbacho as my mentor have been great experiences for me. I was accepted to this program without having any biology background. Although I didn’t have enough information and knowledge in the field of biology and organic chemistry I learned a lot. This program taught me how to collect observable evidence of phenomena, record measurable data relating to the observations, and analyze this information to construct theoretical explanations of how things work together.
Spending time with other interns in the group, talking and discussions during lunchtime, playing games, changing stereotypes, teamwork, Gene Gurkoff’s presentation on Graduation school, and discussions on finding our ways in worst case scenarios are among best memories that I never forget.
My internship has benefited me in many ways, particularly in helping me realize my long-term future goals of what I want to accomplish and where I want to ultimately end up in 10 years. I honestly do believe that students need to start searching for internship opportunities and even volunteer work so they can have the exposure for later on in life. I know a lot of my friends who didn't get the chance to participate in internships are having a little bit of a difficult time trying to apply for good undergraduate and graduate schools.
The time I spent at the CBST has been truly enlightening, and I am confident that the skills that I have accumulated here will be invaluable back in American River College and beyond. I would like once again to thank Dr. Corbacho and Gene Gurkoff for this wonderful opportunity, and I wish both them and all the members of the CBST the best of luck in their research and studies.
College: Contra Costa College
As a first year student at Contra Costa College majoring in Bioengineering, I decided to apply to the CBST Winter Internship because I wanted to learn, first-hand, the significance of scientific research. Before participating in this internship, I understood science primarily with the mindset of a student. I began to develop and transform into a researcher when I began applying concepts I had read about to produce results I was involved in obtaining from beginning to end.
College: Sacramento City College
The CBST winter internship provided me with a great learning opportunity. Coming into this experience I was unsure of my abilities and lacked confidence in my lab skills. This internship took me out of my comfort zone and put me in a lab with 24 strangers. Not only have I now learned additional lab techniques, but I also have come out of this experience with more confidence in my lab skills and in myself, and even a new group of friends. Before this internship I didn’t have a clear idea of what research entails and if it was right for me. I had always wanted to become a veterinarian, but my eyes are now open to more possibilities such as a dual degree program to also obtain a PhD. I never would have guessed that I could have learned so much and grown so much as a person in just two weeks. From learning how to handle stress to playing games, as well as learning how to isolate, detect, and purify protein, my experiences at CBST are ones that I will take with me forever. I learned how to work effectively and efficiently as part of a lab group and the skills I have from this experience will do nothing but help me in my future endeavors. I owe a big thanks to the CBST Staff, especially Ana Corbacho and Gene Gurkoff, and to my fellow interns. You are all amazing and I will never forget this experience.
College: Napa Valley College
I’ve been at Napa JC as a full time student since 2003 unsure of what I wanted to make of myself even as I approached my mid twenties. Every semester was its own chapter, but as each year passed everything grew routine and I felt stuck. I began looking for ways to move on to the University, but my major—molecular biology—is interdisciplinary and the transfer requirements are heavy. More than anything I wanted to experience time spent doing real work in a lab, and when our MESA director forwarded the CBST Winter Internship it looked like the perfect fit! I grew excited and carried that energy into the internship where the program exceeded my expectations. Our research was important, and all of the skills that seemed inane or pointless from freshman chemistry class or physics suddenly became vital to setting up experiments of our own design. The greatest thing I’ve taken from my experience during those two weeks at CBST is a new perspective of my education; instead of being bored, I now see everything as a potentially useful tool. And best of all, on top of some educational clarity, were the games! Dr. Corbacho taught us to enjoy our work, and that is simply priceless. Thank you Anna and Gene!
College: Mission College
During the two week internship, I had learned some important lessons. I learned how to work efficiently as a member in the team. I also learned how to communicate with other people in group. Communication is always one of my weak points. Thanks to the internship, I figured out that to communicate well with other, I needed to understand my teammates, and adjusted myself so that we could understand one another. Furthermore, I had a chance to explore myself. Now I knew what my strong and weak points are. Now I also know how to make a plan and execute the plan. Making a plan sometimes got me very frustrated because I needed to convince my team members and even myself that it was a good plan. Along the process, sometimes I seemed to get completely lost and frustrated, sometimes I felt very excited to find out that I could do experiences very well. At the end, everything was fine, and we found the solutions to all our problems by collaborating among team members, exploring new and alternating options, and trying new ways. My team had done all experiments, and we were happy as a team. Through this internship, I become more mature and professional. Now I know what research is, and I am looking forward to doing more research. I think I will miss Ana and Gene when I had a question because they always were there to answer my questions, to encourage me and more importantly to kindly show me the right way whenever I was wrong.
College: Merced Community College
The two week Community College Winter internship at CBST was challenging, fun, and rewarding. All through the application process I remember feeling anxious and a little bit intimidated about the opportunity. When I was selected to participate in this year’s program I felt very excited and at the same time even more nervous.
College: American River College
Participating in CBST Internship program is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had over the course of my studies. CBST Internship experience enabled me to grow on academic, personal, and career levels, and I am really thankful that I was accepted into this internship. The CBST Winter Internship has been a great experience for me. This was my first internship experience since I started college. Currently, I am in the process of transferring to UC Davis, and this internship has opened my eyes in many levels. I believe that career success rely upon many factors and each experience brings me as a student closer to where I ultimately want to be in my career, and this Internship has helped me with that. The tasks that I had to do as an individual were challenging, educational, and valuable. My most valuable gain through this internship was the level of confidence that I got through experience. Also, the techniques and methods I learned at this internship have made me more competitive for future research programs. Also, during this internship I got to know a group of people who were incredibly smart. I also had a great mentor Dr. Corbacho, who helped me along the way. She had a positive impact on me, and I will never forget her. This internship was a priceless way to gain actual exposure to the field of research and develop skills that are not thought in school.
College: Skyline College
Presentations on the first day, Man, I don’t believe it. Yeah I know. We better be careful or we’re going learn something here. And indeed we did. I learned confidence. It’s easy to be confident when you have a protocol to follow directions. However it’s very, very difficult to keep that confidence when it’s you creating the protocol. You cannot be afraid to fail. That’s how we gained confidence to attack the experiment when there was no protocol. I learned that’s how you attack life, even when I think I don’t have any control. It doesn’t matter if we succeed or if we fail. We suited up everyday and kept this experiment alive. My peers are winners, each and every one of them. But more than that, these are good people. We struggled but we prevailed. I’ve never had a better time. The afternoon activities stimulated my mind and my spirit. From musical chairs to amoeba to freeze tag to many others, it was all worth it. My mentors, Ana
and Gene, always smiled and laughed so much it was contagious and diffused out to every person in the building. They made us critically think rather than give us answers and that made me grow confident. Ana and Gene clearly demonstrated that they love what they do and do what they love. I lived a miracle. It helped me believe in myself and keep my faith. “There’s a first time for everything, we can do it, and I can do it,” I thought as my group gazed upon our unknown project. JABT was our name.
College: Consumnes River College
“Okay everyone, put on your blindfolds, we're gonna do an activity…” WHAT!!! I was mortified, here I was trying to learn some chemistry and I was told to put on a blindfold…this wasn't good. As I held on for dear life onto the rope handed to me, I started to relax a bit. The instructors were scientists, right; they wouldn't do anything crazy….right? I listened closely to Ana tell us that we were going to be making various shapes and with teamwork, it would be possible. “Okay,” I thought, “there is no need to worry, I will be able to do this, and then I can get started with the lab.” Afterwards, not only was I more confident, but I had come to trust my team and I felt much better about working with them!
College: Cañada College (Canada College)
Attending CBST was one of the most valuable learning experiences I have ever had. Upon entering class the first day I expected to be given a list of what was to be done, how it was to be done and why it was to be done. However, our first day consisted of a series of activities in which we where able to get to know one another. Throughout the two weeks we participated in lots of activities and games that relied heavily on teamwork and communication, qualities that are important to have as a professional. By taking part in these games I also realized that although we where working in a lab setting it is important to maintain a balance between work and having fun.
College: Sacramento City College
CBST Community College Winter Research Program was unquestionably the greatest internship experience in my life. I am used to hearing my peers, who by the way don’t have any previous research experience, talk negative about research and calling it extremely boring. Not only has CBST internship winter program proved them wrong, but it has also made me consider getting a higher degree (i.e. Doctorate) to become a researcher for my future career.
College: Yuba College
Participating in this internship was truly a rewarding experience. As my goal is to pursue scientific research and teaching, I came to this internship eager to experience an authentic research environment. I received far more than I had hoped for. What made this internship invaluable were the students I met, the insight and advice I gained from my mentors, and the hands-on research we performed. Through well-chosen activities and games, Dr. Ana Corbacho created a supportive laboratory environment that allowed us interns to unite as colleagues while appreciating the diversity of our backgrounds. The challenges we encountered during our lab work only served to draw us together as we learned to communicate and work effectively as a team. Experiencing the same pressures and triumphs forged an amazing sense of camaraderie among us, and I treasure the friendships I formed during those two weeks. Dr. Corbacho has designed a remarkable program, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in research and the relevance of science to life. During this internship I was able to apply the principles I had studied at college, which gave new significance to my college coursework. Moreover, Dr. Corbacho and Dr. Gene Gurkoff took time to mentor us and to answer our questions, guiding us as we prepare to transfer to a university and pursue our goals. One notable piece of advice Dr. Corbacho gave us has become a motto for me: Do not wait to celebrate—celebrate the little goals achieved and enjoy life along the way.
College: America River College
Participating in the CBST winter internship has been by far the highlight of my academic career thus far. I had sooooo much fun, and learned so much as well! The professors running the program are great and really try to prepare you for your future academic and career goals. This program was so much more then just an internship, it is an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I really liked the peer-based learning that
the program seemed to foster. I learned lab skills that I can take with me for my future learning. The professional but fun environment was what really made this internship a great experience. I also loved the daily games/activities and team building exercises that we did. This program is also great for networking! I met and worked with many people that shared the same goals as me, which will really help me in the long run. I met people that I know I will know for the rest of my life. All the interns were great, and we had fun together learning and teaching each other. We learned leadership skills as well as how to work together as a team. All and all I would say that this internship is a very valuble asset that I will use for my future.
College: Hartnell College
My experience during the CBST winter internship 2010 was unforgettable. Upon receiving my acceptance into the program I was super excited, and when I got there the program definitely didn’t disappoint. At first the program was a mystery to me, all I could tell people was, “I’m going to get to do some research”. The first day I got there the building was locked ,the only way to enter was if you had a pass key. Although it was a little nerve racking having to wait for someone to let you in, I had the chance to meet some of my fellow interns who were also locked out. The first couple of days were pretty cool since it was introductions and getting to know yours peers. The ice breakers and games really helped us form bonds with one another, we saw how we all had similar goals and I noticed that none of us knew what the program was about. It was pretty cool being in this mystery all together.
College: American River College
The CBST winter internship was an unexpected opportunity given to me that changed my career perspective as well as me as person. It was a great combination of doing research, and putting in practice the knowledge I accumulated over the years in college. It was the first time I worked on a lab where I had to come up with the procedure. I’m very thankful for the two amazing mentors that hosted the internship: Dr. Ana Corbacho, and Dr. Gene Gurkoff. They were very friendly, helpful, encouraging, and easy to talk to and get advice from, even on things unrelated to the labs. It was also a privilege to meet, and be part of a remarkable group. Each intern was dedicated, and worked hard to solve the problem. Everything about the internship, including group discussions, fun activities, and hands-on lab, were very well organized. I also enjoyed when Dr. Gene shared with us how he chose his career, and what it took for him to get to where he is now. One thing I took from that speech was that, even though there would be doors slammed in your face, you should keep looking for open ones, and never give up. Oh, and the games, they were amazing! They were a much needed stress relief and mind refreshment. The two weeks I spent doing research often gave room to frustration, and confused feelings. But they didn’t compare with the rewarding feeling I felt when the problem was solved. Thanks again to Dr. Corbacho, Dr. Gurkoff, and to all the interns that made these two weeks an unforgettable experience.
College: Solano Community College
I grew as both a professional researcher and an individual at the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology Winter Internship. When faced with a real-life research project, my teammates and I were forced to work and think as researchers to complete the tasks assigned to us. We were responsible for coming up with experiments, carrying them out, and keeping a regular detailed log of our progress. As an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science major, I had limited exposure to college-level biology and chemistry so I could not simply rely on previous knowledge. Instead, I had to be resourceful: I asked my colleagues questions, read literature pertaining to the research, and received guidance from Drs. Ana Corbacho and Gene Gurkoff. By working as a team, I had the opportunity to develop strong interpersonal and communication skills that enabled my teammates and I to divide labor efficiently and fairly. In addition, we communicated frequently outside of the lab to prepare clear and concise logs and plan future experiments. To my surprise, I learned that becoming a professional researcher is not just about working all the time. To have a refreshed and enthusiastic approach, it is important to take breaks and have fun. Toward the middle of each day, Dr. Corbacho would organize a game for everyone to play. We had a great time and grew closer to each other. I also enjoyed watching movies and music shows, going bowling, and singing karaoke with fellow interns after hours.
College: Yuba College
Opportunities to explore fields of interest before committing are hard to come by. Thankfully I was lucky enough to be accepted to one such occasion. I live an hour away in Yuba City, but I was able to stay at a friend’s place during the internship. As a Biomedical Engineering major I was very happy to see that Biophotonics could be one of its many direct applications. I spent two weeks learning research skills and working as a unit with my fellow team LMJV, the initials of my team members. Together we were able to learn about the BCA and Bradford assays, as well as how to use the Greiss reagent. We worked diligently and fruitfully in order to identify the contaminated protein 16k prolactin and isolate it. Along the way students were able to bond through bowling, playing pool, and sharing ideas. I was a little surprised to see how diverse and genuinely kind all the participants were. Our mentor Dr. Corbacho was always there to lend a helping hand in order to steer the groups in the right direction. It was definitely a great experience and one that I will not soon forget.
College: American River College
I expect that the experiences I had at the winter internship will help me in many future endeavors. The various activities we did focused on developing trust, leadership, and public communication all of which are essential in a work environment. Not only am I now prepared for future internships, I have developed my career by being a part of the internship. Aside from that, the internship was fun! The two weeks went by quickly and I had barely learned people's names before I had to part with them. And there were many people. At the time there were 24 people total in the internship and every one of them had an interesting personality. This brings up another bonus to the internship, I got to meet many great people who are interested in similar things as myself and are just as curious about internships. In short: just do it, you won't regret it!
College: Cosumnes River College
Being a part of the 2010 CBST winter internship was one of the best opportunities I’ve had. At first, I didn’t know what to expect. Since I’m only beginning my science courses, I wasn’t feeling very confident and I didn’t know how much I would be able to bring to the table, but I knew that there was only good to come out of this experience. The first two days, I was still unsure of what exactly we were going to do, then on the third day, Dr. Corbacho, gave us the details of our project. She told us what was going on and what we had to figure out. That’s it. We all thought that she was forgetting something- the lab manual. There weren’t any step by step instructions on what to do, and we didn’t know where to begin. My group and I began brainstorming ideas. We got to work, and there were many times where there was much frustration and a lot of mixed emotions between us, but being able to work through every problem, showed us how much we are capable of doing. Besides the great opportunity of working with a good team, I feel that the lab skills I gained were also a great experience to have because these are all techniques that will always be useful down the road. In addition to the hard work that was put in a daily basis, Dr. Corbacho made sure that we took time out to play. We played various games such as musical chairs, tag, and the human knot. Taking the time each day to play helped very much in relieving the stress we were feeling and it was a time where we got to know each other even more. Everyone in the program grew to be like a small family in such a short amount of time. All of this is an experience that I think none of us will ever forget, and that I know will open many doors for us. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of the 2010 CBST winter internship and to have had such great mentors!
College: Napa Valley College
“Simon says touch your nose. Simon says touch your neighbor’s nose. Simon says walk toward your right,” says Dr. Ana Corbacho while Dr. Gene Gurkoff takes pictures of Carissa and I as we concentrate on the multiple tasks together. During the CBST 2010 Biophotonics Winter Internship, I have engaged in group activities that required scientific creativity and problem solving skills. This program has provided not only mind stimulating entertainment, but also experience in teamwork involving research.
College: Cosumnes River College
As getting closer to the end, I recognized how wonderful the CBST internship program had been. This was my first research experience; and it has absolutely encouraged me on my academic and career goals. During the program, I was excited since I learned how to do a lab research without specific lab manual or protocol. Just starting from given unknown samples, it was so great when I, together with my group members, was able to figure out what they were and how to come up with the result. Definitely, the success was also supported by the instructors. Sometimes, it turned to little frustration and confusion as making mistakes or being unclear toward the procedure; but game time indeed helped to refresh my mind to come back to work with energy. I valued the games for they not only lessened stress but also created a strong friendship among the interns. In addition, I perceived how beneficial teamwork is; without any collaboration of the interns, it would be hard and impossible to come up with the result individually. At the end, the presentation was a vital opportunity for me to explore more concepts in Biochemistry from my research and from the other interns as well. There, I also met many friendly and nice people; and we had a great time in two weeks working and interacting together. For those who are looking for an internship, I would encourage participating in the CBST team; you would learn and enjoy more than you expect.
College: Mendocino College
I am currently attending Mendocino College and pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology with an emphasis in Clinical Laboratory Science. I am honored to have had the opportunity to participate in the CBST Internship. It was an amazing experience I will never forget. It gave me an opportunity to meet so many fun and interesting individuals. It also gave me the opportunity to put into practice everything I have learned in my science classes. I must admit, it wasn’t easy at first but all the hard work paid off. It gave me a great sense of accomplishment. If you are looking for a scientific adventure, I recommend the CBST Internship. This internship helped confirm the path I am currently on. If I had the opportunity to do this again, I would do it in a heartbeat.
College: American River College/Folsom Lake CollegeWOW! 2010 CC winter internship truly was the most fascinating experience I have ever gained. I could not have spent the last two weeks of my winter break any better. As an intern, I had a wonderful opportunity to work with the most amazing and incredible people like Dr. Ana Corbacho and Dr. Gene Gurkoff. These two remarkable mentors shared with me and other interns their great knowledge and wisdom. Furthermore, they helped us enter the world of research and attain new skills that otherwise we would not currently have. The first couple of days seemed to be somehow frustrating for most of us due to not having adequate knowledge of research. However, as days passed and we learned how to trust one another, each group was able to solve more and more puzzles while thinking logically, sharing ideas, and reasoning every step that was taken. But the problems would not be solved without all the sophisticated technology provided. Moreover, the stress relief exercises and games helped each of us forget about our exhaustion. It was magnificent to see such a great diversity among us; Although we were all so different when considering our countries of origin and native languages, it seemed like we had so much in common, and by the end of the second week we were like one big family. Lastly, I believe every community college student should take advantage of this fantastic opportunity before transferring to a four-year institution. It’s a great way to meet new people, work with mentors and researchers, and get prepared for future research programs.
College: Solano Community CollegeWhen one of my fellow MESA members first told me about an internship in biophotonics at UC Davis I had no idea what biophotonics was, but I was interested. I was hesitant at first to apply. I was not sure whether I had the requisite skills. Nevertheless, I decided to apply. That was one of the best decisions I have made.
The 2010 CBST internship has been one of the greatest academic experiences that I have had. The internship was both demanding and fun. It was great to collaborate with so many different people with different interests and backgrounds. I think the best part of the internship was working with the other interns.
The research that we did was extremely interesting and it challenged us to think on our feet. There was no SOP or lab manual to tell us what to do. More than once we were unsure of how to proceed. We had to work together though, and accumulate our collective knowledge. This was the challenging and fun part about the research. Working collectively, we were able to solve the problems that were presented to us. I learned a lot and I was able to put a lot of what I new to use.
This internship really opened my eyes to the possibilities that there are for research in the future, possibilities that I was unaware of before. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Corbacho and the rest of the CBST staff for giving me this opportunity.
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