Lauren DeLong is a junior biology major with minors in chemistry and mathematics. She is a part of Salisbury’s Honor College, Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, the president of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Club and is also a resident assistant in Sea Gull Square.
DeLong loves science and especially loves being able to teach it to other people. She taught STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to children in elementary and middle school, as well as to at-risk youth through Salisbury Urban Ministries.
DeLong is a part of the Honors College newsletter which has helped to improve her literacy, communicate science to different people, provide presentation opportunities and even give her leadership skills.
Last summer DeLong had an internship at NIH or the National Institution of Health in Baltimore, which is where she started getting involved with cardiovascular studies. Now she will be traveling to Germany for three months during the summer to work on vascular inflammation at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences in Rheinbach.
Over in Germany, DeLong will be building a model for atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries.
“I think I’m looking forward mostly to the different culture, different food for sure and then maybe being able to travel around Europe a little bit,” DeLong said.
DeLong had a general interest in the medical area when she first arrived at Salisbury, but it wasn’t until after taking biology 210 with Dr. Les Erickson, who later became her first research mentor, that she found that she likes to discover new things and found biology as a perfect fit for her.
The research internship will help DeLong in her future desire of becoming a professor and perusing a career in research. It will provide her with the needed experience to start her future.
Working with different people of the same field can be a nice way to get the brain functioning more. People bring in different ideas from their past experiences and together can make a better outcome of anything.
“We have a pretty good amount of things for a small school, but we don’t have everything,” DeLong said. “There are so many other scientific technologies, there are other things we don’t have the equipment for right now and there’s just a lot of different people out there. Even when I worked at NIH, there were a lot of international fellows there. They bring a lot of different ideas to the table, people think about science differently so it’s good to move around because it expands your mind set.”
Salisbury is able to provide a lot of opportunities for students across a board of interests, but DeLong said that students need to be able to find those opportunities if they want to get more involved. Some places students can go for information is Career Services, the Nationally Competitive Fellowships Office or simply visiting offices of professors that are in their related field.
“People should look out for opportunities like this just to get different perspectives, meet different kinds of people and have different scientific experiences,” DeLong said.
By SYLLIA NEWSTEAD
Featured photo: Headshot of Lauren DeLong taken in the Academic Commons (Katie Curtin/Salisbury University Communications image).