Rosseirys De La Rosa, aka “Ro”shares her Anthropology research, and her college experience at Emory University. “Ro” graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical and Biological Anthropology."> Podcast | Olivia-Brock-of-USU-Statistics--Art-History--UG-Research-on-Astrolabes--and-Great-Relationships-e1l5k33

Podcast

Episode Notes | Episode Transcript | AskTheGuest

 Hi Fives (5 Highlights)   3-Minute Listen

As a new member of the Utah State University Alumni, Olivia Brock looks back at his Undergraduate Experience in this podcast. Olivia Brock graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics & Statistics, and Art History from Utah State University.

Olivia grew up loving school. She loved most subjects and was very good at it. She was an avid ceramic artist. She was active in student government. When applying to college, she was planning to major in Business and then apply to Law School.

When she joined USU, she encountered undergraduate research in an introductory Art History class. Astrolabes completely captivated Olivia’s imagination. Later, she applied Statistics to Medieval manuscripts and Curated an Exhibition of Historical Scientific Books to study how scientific ideas were depicted visually.

She plans to go to Graduate School after a gap year.

Hi-Fives from the Podcast are:

  1. Overall USU Experience
  2. Why USU?
  3. Discovering UG Research
  4. Impact of  Research
  5. Advice for High Schoolers

Episode Notes

Episode Title: Olivia Brock of USU: Statistics & Art History, UG Research on Astrolabes, and Great Relationships.

Olivia grew up loving school. She loved most subjects and was very good at it. She was an avid ceramic artist. She was active in student government. When applying to college, she was planning to major in Business and then apply to Law School.

When Olivia joined USU, an introductory Art History class scrambled those plans. Olivia  joins our podcast to tell us how, and share her UG Research experiences and her undergraduate college journey at USU.

In particular, we discuss the following with her:

  • Overall Experience at USU
  • Getting Started in with Research
  • Impact of UG Research
  • Majoring in Statistics and Art History
  • Advice to Freshman and High Schoolers

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Introduction to Olivia Brock, USU [0:49]
  • Hi Fives - Podcast Highlights [1:51]
  • Overall USU Experience [4:10]
  • Why USU? [5:58]
  • High School Interests [7:46]
  • Discovering Research [10:21]
  • Why Research? [14:27]
  • Research Details - Stats & Manuscript [16:16]
  • Curator - Art Exhibition [21:51]
  • Impact of Research [24:41]
  • Majors Selection [28:43]
  • What’s Next for Olivia? [32:45]
  • Advice for Freshman [34:04]
  • Skills for High Schoolers [36:59]
  • Memories [39:31]

Our Guests: Olivia Brock graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics & Statistics and Art History from Utah State University.

Memorable Quote: “I am thinking of my high school English teacher, who kind of transformed my ability to write. And it was kind of a harsh experience. He definitely was not easy on me or any of his students. But I think I became a strong writer because of that. And it's, it's paid off many times over since then. So yeah, learn to write.” Olivia Brock.

Episode Transcript: Please visit Episode’s Transcript.

Similar Episodes: College Experiences , UG Research

Calls-to-action:

Episode Transcript

Transcript of the episode’s audio.

Olivia B  0:14

that that kind of first time it happened because I was in some classes that semester that I was not fond of at all. And that really weren't going very well for me. And COVID kindness honestly saved me from meeting a terrible fate in those classes because pretty much what happened is the professor's just said, I'm canceling me exams like canceling the projects.

Venkat  0:49  [Introduction to Olivia Brock, USU]

That is Olivia Brock, who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics & Statistics, and Art History from Utah State University.

Hello! I am your host Venkat Raman.

Olivia grew up loving school. She loved most subjects and was very good at it.

She was an avid ceramic artist.

She was active in student government.

When applying to college, she was planning to major in Business and then apply to Law School.

Olivia joined USU and encountered undergraduate research in an introductory Art History class.

Venkat Raman 1:28

Olivia  joins our podcast to share her UG Research experiences and her undergraduate college journey at USU.

Venkat Raman  1:37

Before we jump into the podcast, here are the High-Fives,  Five Highlights from the podcast:

Olivia B  1:51  [Highlights - Hi Fives]

[Overall USU Experience]

Utah State I had, I really had a good experience and all of my classes I had really amazing professors who were interesting and challenging and who I felt like I was able to connect with and form relationships with

[Why USU?]

going to Utah State allowed me to kind of explore a lot of different fields and subjects I had quite a few meters while I was there. And I it was nice to be able to kind of do that exploration and not feel so tied down to one subject.

[Discovering UG Research]

ultimately decided to study these objects called Astrolabes, which were, which are scientific instruments that gained a lot of popularity in the Middle Ages, especially in the lands and territories ruled by the Islamic empires. And I found these objects really interesting because not only were they scientific objects, but they were also really beautiful objects.

 

[Impact of  Research]

Figuring it out as you go, you kind of just start by asking a question and maybe reading about it. And seeing where that takes you. And that was hard for me because I coming from a math background as well, I kind of have a very structured approach to the way I do life, and the way I do school. And so I kind of had to kind of reevaluate my approach to doing research and kind of accepting the ambiguity of it.

[Advice for High Schoolers]

But learning to write is going to be the best skill you can have to be successful in research. It doesn't matter what discipline you're going to go into.

Venkat Raman  3:37

These were the Hi5s, brought to you by College Matters. Alma Matters.

Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Venkat Raman  3:48

Now, I'm sure you want to hear the entire podcast with Olivia.

So without further ado, here is Olivia Brock!

----------------------

Venkat Raman  3:57  

So if you're ready, we can jump right into it.

Olivia B  3:58  

Yeah, sounds great.

Venkat Raman  4:01  

Cool. So maybe the right place to start is a look back at the Utah State experience. What was it like?

Olivia B  4:10  [Overall USU Experience]

Yeah, my experience at Utah State was really great. And I don't know that it's a one size fits all. I mean, it's definitely not a one size fits all. A lot of people have different experiences there. It's in a smaller city and northern Utah, Utah states located right at right at the mouth of Logan Canyon. And so it's a great place for a lot of students who enjoy the outdoors and other kinds of hiking, skiing. There's a there's a large lake Bear Lake isn't too far from Utah State. So it's a great place for people who like kind of outdoor recreational activities. But my I don't really know how to sum up my experience at Utah State I had, I really had a good experience and all of my classes I had really amazing professors who were interesting and challenging and who I felt like I was able to connect with and form relationships with. I felt like I came out of university with, with a strong skill set across statistics and art history research, as well as a lot of great relationships with faculty, as well as with roommates, and classmates and a lot of other people that I met. While I was there for five years, I've, I think that's probably perhaps the most valuable thing I got out of my experience was was the relationships and the people that I met and got to know and who were really influential for me. And so, yeah, it's a great place with a lot of really awesome people. And I think that's kind of sums up the most impactful part of my USU experience.

Venkat Raman  5:54  

Why did you pick Utah State?

Olivia B  5:58  [Why USU?]

Well, I actually picked Utah State at the beginning, because I wasn't, I was a little bit indifferent about where I went to college, I didn't really care that much. So a little bit up in the air about what I wanted to do. And I had actually had plans to go to a private liberal arts college in Salt Lake City. And that was my plan for a long time. And then just weirdly, one day I kind of woke up and thought, Well, I think we're going to go to Utah State instead. So I did everything I had to do to make that happen. But I was behind on many of the deadlines at that point. I had. I hadn't accepted my scholarships, or my housing or any of that. So I had to write a lot of letters trying to convince the university to kind of let me do those things late past the deadlines. Fortunately, it all kind of worked out and fell into place. And I'm really glad I did, because I think going to Utah State allowed me to kind of explore a lot of different fields and subjects I had quite a few meters while I was there. And I it was nice to be able to kind of do that exploration and not feel so tied down to one subject going into the, into the university. Especially because it is it's on the more affordable side of universities, for sure. And I had great scholarship opportunities. And so it ultimately felt like a great fit. And five years later, it definitely was the best fit for me.

Venkat Raman  7:34  

Before we get into Utah State, what were you like in high school? So what kind of interests were driving you? You said you were kind of indifferent to which college you went to. But so what did you do in school?

Olivia B  7:46  [High School Interests]

Yeah, so though I was indifferent about what college I went to, I wasn't particularly indifferent about school I was, school was always very important to me growing up something that kind of started for me around the middle school age. And so that was I really loved academics. I love most subjects that I got to study in school. I was very studious, very on top of my work. I took a lot of AP classes and concurrent enrollment classes to get some college credit early. And so yeah, I was very much interested in kind of more formal academics. And that's where I did well. And I saw a lot of success there. Classes. But outside of that, on the side of that I was also a pretty avid artist in high school, I did a lot of ceramics. I was the I won the Sterling Scholar Award, which is a an award that all the high schools in Utah give out for the visual arts at my school for ceramics, which was, which was a really cool experience. I was also involved in student government and other kinds of organizations similar to that leadership organizations in the school. And I also worked a lot in high school, I had a job as well that I worked and so those between those things that kind of took up a lot of my time. But at that stage of my life, I was kind of looking toward becoming a lawyer and going to law school. And so going into Utah State, I was actually planning to be a business major to kind of facilitate my journey towards law school. And so but yeah, that's kind of how I was in high school a little bit. A little bit nerdy, but I I had a lot of good friends and I knew a lot enjoyed getting to know a lot of people in high school. And I think those kind of personality traits carried on for me in the college. But I guess probably I'd set myself up as your kind of basic smart kid in high school. I took AP classes and that's probably the gist of it.

Venkat Raman  10:00  

Let's let's sort of talk about how or when you got into research. I mean, it sounds like in high school you explored on a number of different fronts, but it doesn't look like you did a lot of research. And so how did that? How did that happen?

Olivia B  10:21  [Discovering Research]

Yeah, so it's true research wasn't really a part of my high school experience by means of anything more extreme than like a kind of your normal English research paper, right? So I didn't really going into college have a conception of what this kind of formal academic research was. And kind of the research that went on at universities. And going into college, I was kind of under the impression that that I was just going to kind of go to school, take my classes, work a part time job, and then graduate in four years and leave. And that ended up not being the case at all. But yeah, my, my research of experience really started at the end of my first year, when I, I have decided to take some art history classes. That second semester, my freshman year, I took AP art history in high school as kind of an extension of my interest in the arts as a ceramic artist, and really loved art history. So my second semester of college, I attended a couple of classes, one of which was a medieval art history class taught by Alexa Sand, who I believe also had on your podcast. Yes, absolutely. And the the kind of final project where that class was this open engagement with medieval art history. So we kind of had the reach of kind of pick whatever topic we wanted, whatever final product we wanted, and explore that in ways that were interesting to us, because the class had a lot of, you know, studio art majors as well as our history majors. And so she wanted to kind of leave that open. So I ultimately decided to study these objects called Astra leaps, which were, which are scientific instruments that gained a lot of popularity in the Middle Ages, especially in the lands and territories ruled by the Islamic empires. And I found these objects really interesting because not only were they scientific objects, but they were also really beautiful objects. And I felt like that was really important to their kind of overall existence. And their overall purpose was the fact that they were also beautiful. So that's kind of what I explored in that for that final product class. And I just wrote up kind of a regular research paper for it. But at the end of the class, Alexa had actually reached out to me and told me that she thought that I had a lot of really good ideas on my paper, and that she thought it was really interesting in marinade, further exploration, and merited some more, merited more more research. And so she actually offered to to mentor me on a kind of a more, I guess, I'm on a kind of an extension of an extended research project that involves applying for grant money and a fellowship, and things like that. And so it was actually Alexa who really kind of started my research career, I'd probably say, despite kind of reaching out to me, when I was pretty early on in college and kind of getting me involved because she had She's very passionate about undergraduate research. And she, she likes to take prospective students and help them find find a path doing research. So that's kind of how I got into it at the beginning.

Venkat Raman  14:07  

What was it that drew you into Research? I mean, you did it. It sort of started out as a class project. Obviously, it became something bigger. What did you like about it? Just initially, initial thoughts. If you can recall.

Olivia B  14:27  [Why Research?]

Yeah. Well, research is, research is really challenging, and I haven't really kind of expected that going into doing it outside of a classroom contexts. But I think what's just cool about it is that you like through research, especially as an undergraduate student, you can really explore a lot of different ideas and questions and concepts that you're not exposed to in your kind of normal coursework. So that's that's really what I like it. It really does allow you to dive into things that you're personally interested in, in a way that is really meaningful in a way that uplifts your academic experience, as well as your kind of overall interest in those topics anyways. And so I think that's what I really liked about it. I also really, I really liked the kind of working with a mentor, I that was really, really impactful for me and have, I think, you know, really long lasting impacts on me today and will continue to going forward. I think the combination of getting to explore subjects that are important to students that they can explore in a class, as well as doing so with a mentor, with someone who is more experienced and can really guide them to success is the best part about research, and the most meaningful part of research.

Venkat Raman  16:00  

Let's move on then. So you started there, then what happened, tell us about all the different research and how you kind of got into it. And if there was any seminal work that you ended up doing, that you want to talk about more than others?

Olivia B  16:16  [Research Details - Stats & Manuscript]

Sure. Yeah. So the product I did on Astrolabes kind of lasted for maybe a year, maybe like two years or so, you know, it's just slow, especially when you're a student, and you have a lot of other things going on. But as I mentioned before, I had worked with Alexa to apply for a university undergraduate research grant, as well as a summer research fellowship in the arts. And I was able to receive both of those, I believe that was in the summer of 2019. And with that funding, I was able to go to New York City to kind of study asteroids in person to talk with curators and experts and people who knew a lot more about them than I did. And that was also a really meaningful experience, to get to go and explore them in kind of a physical, more physical sense than I had been getting previously. As well as that kind of exposure to new people who know a lot of different things than I do and know a lot more than I do. But I also, I also found the grant writing and the fellowship, application writing to be a really meaningful experience. And kind of an alternative way in the sense that I, it was an opportunity to really articulate my ideas, and articulate why this research is important to me, and why it's important to our kind of academic community at Utah State. And so that's kind of the some of that research, I did end up writing a paper on the Astra labs that I, I honestly, I drafted it, and then I didn't do much with it after that, because I wasn't particularly happy with the final product. So maybe one of these days, I'll kind of get back into it and do a little bit more to kind of get that polished up and maybe published at some point. After that, yeah, I've done a few things since then, as well. I did a, I co authored a paper with Alexa, actually, last year, where we looked at statistical statistical approaches to studying large and miniature manuscripts. And we were kind of exploring in the paper, different approaches to, you know, basically, we just wanted to know, we have all this data on manuscripts and manuscript sizes, can we do anything with it? Is there anything meaningful that we can do with these, this data and so that was kind of our, our research and our, what our paper was based on, and we found that there, there is likely a lot of kind of meaningful things that can be done statistically, with this kind of old manuscript and bibliographic data. And so, hopefully, that might inspire some, some others to kind of take that on and to see what kinds of, you know, what we really can do with?

Venkat Raman  19:21  

So what are some, what are some meaningful things that you could do with those manuscripts that you mentioned?

Olivia B  19:28  

So some of the things we looked at was, you know, seeing, you know, are, are there different trends in manuscript making across the western world, and kind of the middle, the medieval and the early modern periods? So you know, we looked at okay, well, we have all these Bibles, for example, and to be honest, I don't remember the exact results off the top of my head. But we found that you know, If you take, say, a sample of Bibles, yeah, right from the 15th century, right? So they're all the books, we're looking at our Bibles from the 15th century. And then we're kind of looking at them from different regions. So the regions we focused on were England, France, Germany, and Italy. And so for example, you can use kind of statistical tests and data analysis to see, you know, are there significant differences in the ways that these, these manuscripts are made? Were was one region making manuscripts or these Bibles was one region making them larger or smaller, like significantly larger or smaller than another region? And you know, when you can find those things out, if you say, okay, England is making Bibles that are a lot larger, just all around than any of the other three countries. You know, what does that mean? Like, why would they be making bigger Bibles? Was it because they were disconnected from the continent and didn't end were like, they were disconnected from Bible making trends in other countries. Where there materials different were their methods of production different, you know, and so by kind of looking at this data, we can actually see differences in trends that can allow historians or historians to make a lot of Ask a lot more, ask questions that are a lot more meaningful about these manuscripts and book production that we might not kind of notice or be able to observe just by looking at the books with our eyes.

Venkat Raman  21:41  

Got it.

Venkat Raman  21:46  

Cool. What else? What else were you involved in?

Olivia B  21:51  [Curator - Art Exhibition]

Yeah, so I did that. Like I said, I co authored that paper last year. And then this year, my kind of list last year, my focus was on doing a capstone project for us us Honors Program, which is kind of a small thesis, smaller thesis project. And for that project, I curated an exhibition in the Utah State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives. And so for that project I selected Well, books ranging from being produced in the anywhere from the 12th, through the 14th century, up to the 17th century about. And all of these books were historical books, or historical scientific books. So I was what I was really interested in was looking at the ways that scientific ideas have been visually manifested historically. And looking at the ways that by creating physical and material culture, material objects, how how scientists were able to kind of democratize their ideas and make them more accessible to a less educated public, or less educated professionals. And so that was kind of what I was interested in is the way that the physicality and the images in these books kind of pushed forward. At a kind of what I would describe as kind of a trend that you started to see in kind of the 16th century in Europe, a trend of kind of getting scientific ideas out of academia to an extent and into the hands of a more everyday person. And that happened, I think, very strongly. It happened because of the kind of advances in physical objects like scientific instruments, or books or illustrations and things like that. And so that's kind of what I was focusing on at the exhibition. And so that exhibition was up for about a month. It just came down around graduation day. That's was kind of the last big research endeavors that I took on as an undergraduate was that exploration into Yeah, historical scientific books.

Venkat Raman  24:25  

So as you look back at all the different research and research projects you've been involved in over the last five years now, how do you think it has made a difference? How has it changed you or impacted you?

Olivia B  24:41  [Impact of Research]

Yeah. Well, like I said earlier, I think research is really difficult. Especially research in the humanities where you don't, there's less structure to how it's done compared to the sciences, sciences. You know, there's a lot of kinds of, you know, you propose a question, you come up with a hypothesis, you create an experiment, you test it, you know, things like that, there's a little bit more structure to the way research is done in those fields. So I. So I found it, really kind of, I had to be very self motivated. And determined, if I was going to do any sort of research, because I kind of had a big part of it was, of course, I had great mentors, but a lot of it is just kind of figuring it out as you go, you kind of just start by asking a question, and maybe reading about it, and seeing where that takes you. And that was hard for me, because I coming from a math background as well, I kind of have a very structured approach to the way I do life, and the way I do school. And so I kind of had to kind of reevaluate my approach to doing research, and kind of accepting the ambiguity of it. And accepting that it might not always go to plan, go as I had planned it. And so that was something that I've kind of, taken into my real life and kind of allowed, you know, those kinds of changes in the way I approach life generally, is kind of accepting things that are a little bit maybe less structured a little more ambiguous and, and taking them in stride, and learning to appreciate those things. And so I think, at a very high level, how it impacted me, but also I've, you know, I have, you know, I would really love to go work, you know, in a museum space, or some sort of educational space. And I think that stems from my research experience, and the kind of value I saw to education through through doing research. And so it's definitely impacted my kind of outlook on what I want to do, going forward in my life, as a graduate student, and as a professional eventually. And yeah, so suddenly have a lot of impact on my kind of honestly, on my personality and my approach to my life. But also, I've, like I said, my working with Alexa and a few other mentors that I've had, it's been probably the most meaningful thing, just learning from them and getting their insight into the kind of the best approaches to doing research has been a really great experience. And something that I think will impact me as I go on to graduate school into the, into the, or into a profession. So I, those those relationships are really meaningful for me and I'm, I value them very highly. And I think that was the best thing that I got out of doing research.

Venkat Raman  28:04  

Okay, so let's switch gears a little bit. Let's talk about your majors. I mean, you alluded to that a few a couple of times. So I think you've graduated with what math and statistics and art history right. Quite a eclectic collection of topics. So tell us a little bit about it. I mean, Math, it looks like you had a core interest coming into things and art history. You've talked about it. So why this? I guess, particular set? Of course.

Olivia B  28:43  [Majors Selection]

Yeah, I'm a that's always a good question and why I get asked a lot. And I didn't really come into it thinking, Oh, well, I'm gonna intentionally choose to do math and stats, and then art history. It just kind of happened that way. I like I said, before I came in thinking I was going to be a business major and go to law school, eventually. But my my first semester, I took some business classes, and I wasn't really feeling it. And I also took a statistics class my first semester and just really, really liked it. I thought it was really interesting. I had always been pretty good at math throughout high school and middle school. I was never bad at math. I just never felt particularly fond of it. But coming into college and into that stats class, I really liked statistics. I'm like, Well, maybe maybe there's something here. I might like and, and so I decided to pursue it. And I ended up taking calculus the next semester and loving that. And so I kind of decided at that point that this is this is the route for me. Definitely is kind of I'm pursuing an education and math and statistics. And ultimately, I graduated with a degree in statistics with a minor in math, and have a little bit more of an affinity for statistics over over pure math. But that's how that worked out. And then, as I mentioned before, I took an AP History class in high school that I really loved. And I decided to take some classes in, you know, as my freshman year, I was thinking about maybe just doing a minor in art history as kind of a way to pursue something that I was interested in. But I didn't really take it very seriously until I got involved in research. And it was kind of at that stage that I'm like, I, I really love art history. And I think there's a lot of interesting things that happened in this field, there's a lot of merit to this field. And so ultimately, I decided to major in it. Well, first, I was going to minor in it, and then I, my hesitation, really was taking for four semesters of a foreign language. four semesters of German, which I did, and it was challenging, but I'm glad I did it. And I'm glad I followed through with majoring in art history. But I mean, none of my classes ever overlap. While I was in school, and they were quite the variety, I mean, I get the question about them all the time. Why both. And the reality is that just I love both, and I wanted to pursue them both. And I think in a way they're, you know, they're more alike than we give them credit for. Is, we think about it math really isn't released, in my opinion. Math is it's an invention that humans created to explain the natural world. And to kind of rationalize and kind of make sense of what was going on around them. And art is very much the same way. It's an invention that humans came up with, to kind of understand, also understand the world and understand their experience in a way that is a little more subjective and a little more personal. And so they both kind of have that approach to connecting people with the natural world just in different ways.

Venkat Raman  32:33  

So what next? What do you do now that what happens? Is that graduate school and your future? Or what are you gonna do?

Olivia B  32:45  [What’s Next for Olivia?]

Yeah, so graduate school is definitely next year, we're gonna take a gap year. And just work probably take a break from from school and kind of the busyness of it. But yeah, I'm planning to go to graduate school next fall, tall, 2023. Not quite true, but I want to do yet. I'm interested in kind of what I talked about, I wrote about with Alexa, the kind of statistical approaches to looking at historical books and manuscripts and kind of interesting and pursuing something along those lines, at the graduate level, and kind of setting that way. But right now, I'm kind of just like researching different institutions and different faculty who might have an interest in that who can help me. So that's kind of where I'm at right now.

Venkat Raman  33:44  

You mentioned that you got into research, probably end of your freshman year. So what would you tell freshmen? about research? What would what would your advice to them be?

Olivia B  34:04  [Advice for Freshman]

I think my, my biggest advice is to, you know, and it depends, I suppose, on your discipline, for me working with Alexa was kind of we were a good match, because she's, she's a little bit more hands off of a mentor, I would say. So it was, you know, so it was kind of me doing my own thing coming up with my own research and ideas. And her you know, and she was very helpful and always giving me good advice and things to read and, you know, tips for how to be successful and she, she worked. I worked really closely with her. And that really worked for me in my kind of style of learning and research. But some people need something a little more structured. They might be interested more in something like scientific research or lab research where they're kind of working on an like a faculty's research. So I think what I would tell freshmen is to just try some research, even if it fails, because failed research is still research. Yep. And because you want to be able to find a mentor, and a discipline, and kind of an approach to research that works for that works for you, and that you feel like you can thrive in and I was able to find mine relatively quickly. But other people might have to bounce around between different mentors, different labs, different disciplines, to kind of find research that that works for them. And so yeah, I guess that's kind of my advice is to just try it. And if it fails, or if you don't like it, you can always try something else. And that's absolutely yeah. And that, don't be afraid to talk to faculty or professors and ask them about what research opportunities are going on in their, in their departments or in their college. Because that's honestly, where a lot of connections to research come from, are just asking, because faculty don't always know you're going to be interested unless you unless you ask.

Venkat Raman  36:26  

Olivia, Now, what would you tell high schoolers to prepare themselves? And what kind of skills do you think they ought to be developing or building in order to be able to do research? I mean, you know, it's something that you came in cold, but did you feel prepared? And do you think that, you know, if you had ABC that it would have made it easier or better or didn't really matter?

Olivia B  36:59  [Skills for High Schoolers]

I think the biggest skill, the kind of high school age that would be impactful for having a successful undergraduate research journey is to learn to write. which I know can be writing is a really hard skill. And it's something that takes a lot of practice. And often, it takes a good teacher or good mentor to really be able to critique you and help you kind of increase your writing skills. But learning to write is going to be the best skill you can have to be successful in research, it doesn't matter what discipline you're going to go into. Because researching always involves writing, and communicating, especially if you want to do research, to a point where you want to get money for it. If you want to get a grant or fellowship, you need to be able to articulate your ideas in a way that comes from in a way that is accessible to people who may not be entirely familiar with your research or with your ideas. Gifts. Yeah, it's so important to learn to write and to communicate, and especially for a researcher. And so trying to kind of hone in those skills as a high school student is, is really valuable. I am thinking of my high school English teacher who kind of transformed my ability to write and it was kind of a harsh experience. He definitely was not easy on me or any of his students, but I think I became a strong writer because of that. And it's, it's paid off many times over since then. So yeah, learn to write

Venkat Raman  39:03  

Okay, so Olivia, we are starting to wind down here. I thought it could take a few minutes and share some memories are something that you'd like our listeners to know about could be from any aspect of your college life. Anything in specific abroad

Olivia B  39:31  [Memories]

I don't know. I mean, my, my halfway through my college career, you know, I was it was interrupted by COVID. And that really kind of changed. It's funny looking back because I remember so COVID you know was, you know, wasn't still is a devastating pandemic. I remember being really excited about the shutdown school. that that kind of first time it happened because I was in some classes that semester that I was not fond of at all. And that really weren't going very well for me. And COVID kindness honestly saved me from meeting a terrible fate in those classes. Because pretty much what happened is the professor's just said, I'm canceling the exams, and we're canceling the projects. And so kind of helped me out there. But yeah, looking back, I think that's two years later, over two years later. And that was kind of a funny thing to feel like, because then, you know, after that, I think all of us, you know, I really wanted to start going back in person. And I was like, Oh, well, I still wish this never would have happened. I still wish I could have kind of had that. I didn't have my kind of college experience interrupted by by COVID. Looking back, but I just thought it was funny that I I remembering how excited I was about it at the beginning.

Venkat Raman  41:04  

Yeah, you know, everyone probably thought I mean, we all thought it was gonna be a brief thing. Yeah. But here we are two plus years later. So Olivia, thank you. You know, you shared some really interesting insights and stories about your research, I think that it's a inspiring would be it's just fascinating stories. So I'm sure our listeners are going to enjoy it. And hopefully, the high schoolers of today, following your footsteps and all the other researchers and doable undergraduate research. So I'm sure we'll talk more in the future, but for right now, take care, be safe. And I'll talk to you soon and congratulations again.

Olivia B  41:56  

Thank you so much. Bye

---------------------

Venkat  42:07  [Close]

Hi again!

Hope you enjoyed our podcast with Olivia Brock on her undergraduate as well as research experiences at USU.

Olivia’s openness and exploration in college helped her find her calling.

Olivia came to Utah State to major in Business, but she discovered Statistics and Art History.

Art History introduced her to Research in the form of Astrolabes which absolutely captivated Olivia’s imagination.

She applied Statistics to Medieval manuscripts and Curated an Exhibition of Historical Scientific Books to study how scientific ideas were depicted visually.

I hope Olivia’s story inspires & motivates  you to pursue undergraduate research in college.

For your questions or comments on this podcast, please email podcast at almamatters.io [podcast@almamatters.io].

Thank you all so much for listening to our podcast today.

Transcripts for this podcast and previous podcasts are on almamatters.io forward slash podcasts [almamatters.io/podcasts].

To stay connected with us, Subscribe to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify or visit anchor.fm forward slash almamatters [anchor.fm/almamatters] to check us out.

Till we meet again, take care and be safe.

Thank you!


Is College in US for you?