Interview with Katie Jenkins
BS in Genetics, Minor in Biotechnology
Anticipated Graduation: May, 2019
What is your proudest accomplishment as an NC State student?
My proudest accomplishment would have to be receiving my CMI internship beginning in the summer of 2017 and continuing through today. Through this internship, I have been able to get real lab experience, participate in various symposiums, and get recognition for it through grants, honors, and a scholarship. Though it sounds gross to most, my research focuses on how your genotype for earwax affects your skin microbiota. We hope to see differences between genotypes that will help to figure out our evolutionary relationship with our microbes.
What do you love best about your department or major?
I love the people and the opportunities. Because Genetics is a smaller major, there are more opportunities to get to know your professors and advisors, which helps them get to know you as a person, rather than just another student.
What do you plan to do after graduating from NC State?
I have just applied to various genetics/evolutionary programs at Duke, Vanderbilt, and Emory. I hope to be accepted and to further my learning and passion for human genetic evolution and co-evolution with microbes.
Care to give a shout-out to a faculty or staff member that you’d like to recognize?
I want to recognize Dr. Reade Roberts for giving me the opportunity to achieve so much through research and for always encouraging me whether it be for applications, research related subjects, or academics. I would also like to recognize Dr. Betty Gardner for giving me the opportunity to TA for her and again, being there for me in general. TA-ing really helped me to not only solidify my knowledge in basic genetic concepts, but also helped me to realize how much I enjoy helping others. Thank you both for all of the support and opportunities you gave me. I’d be nowhere near where I am without you.
What advice would you give to students at the beginning of their degree program?
I would say first to not be afraid to put yourself out there, you might be surprised by the result. If I hadn’t applied to my internship, I wouldn’t have gotten it and would never have realized my love for evolution or research in general. The same thing goes for not being afraid to say hi to someone in class, they might just end up being your new best friend. I think also an important point is to not be afraid to fail. We spend so much time focusing on wanting things to work that we never really figure out how to deal with it when something doesn’t. Failure really is okay, you just have to remind yourself that it isn’t the end of the world and that you can always try again.
Here are just some of the things Katie has done while at NC State:
- Comparative Medicine Institute Fellow/Intern (2 years)
- Student researcher in Dr. Reade Roberts’ laboratory
- WISE member
- University Scholars member
- Genetics Honors program member
- Genetics Club member
- A frequent volunteer at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences
- TA for GN 311
- Research Pack Tracks class participant
- Took numerous courses that taught hands-on laboratory skills