Christina Gaw

Senior Biochemistry and Anthropology Major
Belton, Texas
Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship recipient, 2018
Baylor2 Medical Track Program

Christina Gaw

My first exposure to undergraduate research at Baylor was through what is now called the Baylor Summer Science Research for Freshman program. The program was a summer opportunity that introduced incoming Baylor freshman to research experiences and campus life. 

Based upon my interests, I was placed in a chemistry lab and spent six weeks learning about analytical chemistry-related topics. Little did I know my participation through this summer program would lay the foundation for exciting opportunities related to research in the future. 

The graduate students in the lab in which I was involved during that summer truly influenced my decision to continue pursuing opportunities in research. Without their encouragement and guidance, I would not have the knowledge or skills that I possess today. Thus, I believe that actively engaged graduate students can greatly impact the experiences of undergraduate students.

Supporting mentorships between graduate students and undergraduate students is vital for the success of the University. Baylor’s ability to remain at the top of research lists is partly due to the exchange of knowledge between students and the success that stems from these relationships. Moreover, graduate students who are willing to teach and invest in undergraduate students can have a tremendous impact on scientific productivity. Graduate students possess the power to develop academic passions in undergraduate students and positively influence their futures beyond Baylor. 

"Baylor’s impact on the world is through its students. By providing a quality education and intentional experiences, the University is actively influencing the world."

Involvement in research can only enhance the value of a Baylor undergraduate degree. Research opportunities can present themselves in multiple ways, and the skills and knowledge gained from participating in research is invaluable to students. Students learn academic information through involvement in research and gain professional skills such as collaboration and leadership. 

Additionally, research provides students the chance to interact with faculty and other students. Few institutions have departments, faculty and active groups dedicated to ensuring the success of students interested in research. Baylor develops programs to foster relationships between individuals who want to pursue research opportunities and connects them with experiences that support their academic passions. Also, research experience prepares students for further education. Baylor’s impact on the world is through its students. By providing a quality education and intentional experiences, the University is actively influencing the world. 

My undergraduate research involvement and the faculty at Baylor have provided me the ability to be competitive for scholarships and internships related to my research interests. The University has incredible resources that are available to students, and I would encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities. Furthermore, the faculty at Baylor is unmatched, and they work tirelessly to provide opportunities for students seeking to enrich their undergraduate education with research experiences. Baylor continues to serve its students with meaningful research experiences and receives recognition for its academic accomplishments. Such success only exists due to the University’s dedicated faculty and driven students.