Interview with Ike Emerson

BS in Biological Sciences, Human Biology Concentration
BS in Biochemistry
Minor in Biotechnology
Anticipated Graduation: December, 2019
GPA 4.0

What is your proudest accomplishment as an NC State student?

My proudest accomplishment as an NC State Student has been my undergraduate research work in characterizing a geminivirus infection in the tomato variety Lanai. Through this work, I have become familiar with myriad laboratory techniques and have learned how to extrapolate significance from these results. I have been able to attend multiple poster sessions to showcase this work and gain experience in scientific communication. I also received a $500 research grant for my final semester to complete this work. Undergraduate research has been an exciting and rewarding part of my NC state experience.

What do you love best about your department or major?

The part I love best about the biological sciences department is how they allow students to choose among multiple concentrations that fit one’s personal interest. By choosing the human biology concentration, I was able to learn more about anatomy and physiology, while still taking classes that pertained to biological sciences as a whole.

What do you plan to do after graduating from NC State?

After graduating from NC State, I hope to attend a Biochemistry Ph.D. program at a university in the triangle area.

Care to give a shout-out to a faculty or staff member that you’d like to recognize?

I would like to shout-out Dr. Jose Ascencio-Ibanez, or as he is more commonly known, Trino. Dr. Trino has been my undergraduate research mentor for three semesters and has taught me so much about biochemistry. Dr. Trino has encouraged me to be knowledgeable in biochemistry both conceptually and experimentally.

What advice would you give to students at the beginning of their degree program?

I would advise students to not be scared to contact professors. Whether they teach a class they are in, or they are someone that you are interested in doing research with. All of the professors I have met during my time at NC State have strived to be approachable and helpful.

Here are just some of the things Ike has been up to:

• Member of the CALS Honors program
• Made the Dean’s List five consecutive semesters
• Presented at two undergraduate research symposia
• Worked as a teaching assistant and tutor for organic chemistry courses
• Interned with Dr. Susan Smith at UNC studying the effects of fetal alcohol exposure on ribosome biogenesis and nucleolar structure.
• Oversaw large-scale agricultural research projects as an intern at the Piedmont Research Station.
• Is a Certified Emergency Medical Technician and Lifeguard
• Shadowed doctors, volunteered in a hospital ER and served on a medical mission trip to Haiti
• Worked as a summer camp counselor