Chaeri Chun Student of  [High School in California]

The ARIP program was a program where I was able to experience and learn many things that I have never interacted with before. Going beyond what is presented in a regular classroom, this internship opportunity provided students with hands-on experience, lab skills, introduction to bioinformatics, and much more. Although this year the program was done virtually, I genuinely felt that I was able to form close bonds with everyone I worked with. To be given the chance to work with a professor from USC, experts at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and four other highly-motivated peers was truly an honor and I learned so much from them during the past two weeks. All of the mentors in this program were very supportive and helpful in walking us through how to craft a curriculum vitae, using the Geneious Prime sequencing software, properly using lab equipment so we do not contaminate our specimens, publishing genetic sequences onto the Barcode of Life Database Systems, understanding environmental DNA, and communicating scientific information. I found this program to be highly interactive and engaging because we not only learned a medley of information and skills, but also were given the opportunity to put the things we learned into test and contribute our findings to the scientific community. This challenging, yet enjoyable, program has definitely pushed me to try my best and I was able to gain immense amounts of valuable knowledge from this experience. Overall, the ARIP program has been unforgettable and I would highly recommend other students to join this program as well!

Gene Geoung Student of  [High School in California]

Even though COVID-19 brought craziness and unease towards the general future, ARIP 2020 was a truly immersive and unforgettable experience for me. Going in I had almost no idea what ARIP or marine biology was other than the fact that it had to do with water animals. However, throughout this internship, I was immersed in actual lab life and went through real procedures whether it be collecting samples from specimens that we had gathered or using Geneious to sequence DNA. Furthermore, I was pleasantly surprised to know how much of a role computer science and programs play in the biology world especially in sequencing data in DNA and identifying where they are from. Overall, ARIP opened a door that I would have never touched had I not participated in the program and helped me gain experience and valuable skills that I'm sure will guide me through whatever career path I choose to take in the future.

Hyeree Sohn Student of  [High School in California]

During the summer of 2020, I was able to participate in the Advanced Research Internship Program with the National History Museum Marine Biodiversity staff members. It was a very gratifying experience as I got to work with fellow students and staff members to learn about marine biodiversity, while carrying out research about environmental DNA. This was not like any other summer camp that I have been to, as we were actual interns in a professional research team. Even though the COVID-19 restricted in-person experience, the coordinators were able to keep the program going and gave us the opportunities to become scientists in our own homes. Daily group communications on Slack and Google platforms allowed us to emerge ourselves in the Diversity Initiative for the Southern California Ocean Project, contribute to international databases like iNaturalist and Barcode of Life Database, and communicate about any initiatives that individuals had on the idea of eDNA and biodiversity. Specifically, we were able to do hands on field collecting in our communities, extract tissue samples, learn to use the Geneious Prime DNA sequence editing software, access international sequence database GenBank, and contribute DNA reference barcode sequences to an international database. While I was able to learn about biology in a lens that I had never learned about in school, I gained other skills like collaborativeness, leadership, communication, adaptability, and responsibility as we were challenged everyday to learn and actively engage in ongoing activities in the field of science and discovery. The ability to put myself in an hands-on practical research project was very rewarding and gave me an insight into what biology truly is. It helped me solidify my love for biology and made me broaden my look about biodiversity in my everyday life. Every little detail that went into this program made it very special and made it into a program that I will look back on in my future endeavors.

Jungeun Lee Student of  [High School in Georgia]

My name is Jungeun Lee and I participated in the ARIP internship program in the summer of 2021. Although it was unfortunate that the program wasn’t able to talk place face-to-face, I believe that it operated much more smoothly than I expected and I was still able to learn a multitude of valuable skills. One of the activities that I enjoyed the most was the sampling of the specimens. It was very exciting to do things hands-on and although my specimens had a shipment error, I was able to publish specimens on the Barcode of Life. Something new that I learned from this was the severe importance of contamination, and I had a chance to learn even more as it was my topic for the final research project. Another skill that I learned that I believe was very cool was learning how to use Geneious prime to sequence DNA. Although it was challenging for me at first, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to learn this valuable skill. Another part of the program that I learned a great deal from was the editing of the curriculum vitae. It was very helpful to work with other interns and professors to combine ideas and make helpful and useful changes. Those three are merely three parts of the entire program in which I gained great knowledge from every part. It was a great honor to be a part of this program, to have an opportunity to work alongside distinguished professors and passionate interns to learn more about an area of science that I am interested in while forming lifelong relationships. As I am aspiring to go into the medical field, I believe that the knowledge I gained and the skill I learned will benefit me greatly in the future. Although the time in the program was short, I believe that I am taking a lot with me, not just in an academic aspect but also in a personal aspect as I discovered many qualities within myself. I want to thank all of the professors for everything and say that I will never forget this amazing program.

Yena Cho Student of  [High School in Georgia]

During 2020 ARIP program, I was able to have a better understanding of what actually happens behind the scene. I personally wanted to be a pharmacist and do something related to research. This was able to give me a brief idea of what happens and how the researchers deal with different situations. Due to COVID-19, I wasn’t able to physically be in the lab but I have learned different skills such as using different online platform related to research and data analysis.

In Su Park Student of  [High School in California]

The ARIP program has truly inspired me to work harder and has motivated me to attend medical school. This program has also allowed me to experience how it is like at a USC and NHM laboratory as a researcher. Also doing “in-hand labs” such as extracting DNA, sequencing DNA and even collecting specimens allowed me to gain full hand experiences. I also learned many new things about the biodiversity of the ocean. How there are vast amounts of species in the water and the way animals/insects have evolved in order to survive, really sparked my mind. Riding a boat to Catalina island and doing many activities, such as kayaking and hiking, was very entertaining and has created many wonderful memories that I will never forget. And experiencing college life at USC has given me more knowledge of the real world that’s ahead of me. Overall, It was amazing meeting new people from all over the country and it was such an honor working with admirable professors and staff at the Natural History Museum. Thank you for the great memories and experiences that everyone from the program has given.

Jasmine Noh Student of [High School in California]

At first, I did not know what to expect from the program and only had a broad overview about it, but I participated because I had an interest for the science field. Throughout the two weeks, I realized that there is more work than just sitting at a lab bench and working on projects, but it includes going out to collect specimen and publishing finalized information online. It was so great to have the opportunity to work in a professional lab alongside mentors who were very supportive and excited to teach me. I was able to have experiences that I have never had before and got to know many new people. Although it was a rigorous program, I feel like I have developed a lot and learned more than I ever thought I would.

Alyssa Yeh Student of [High School in California]

Before I joined ARIP, I was a little skeptical about what I needed to focus on to prepare for the future. However, now I can confidently say that ARIP has certainly steered me towards a more STEM-oriented direction, which I’d be more than happy to pursue. This program has allowed me to connect with young, ambitious people like myself, as well as wonderful professors who have encouraged us to do our best in our respective interests. Every minute of the program was enjoyable, from staying up late chatting and finishing homework to successfully obtaining our very first DNA barcodes. Over meals and lab work and gatherings at night, our group of aspiring minds formed unbreakable bonds, with each other and our mentors alike. There’s no way to replace the experiences I’ve had with my work and my peers. I’m glad that I took the opportunity to join the program so I could really work on deciding what I’m interested in and what dreams I hope to chase in the future. Getting the awards and merits from this program will also benefit me greatly on my path to university and I take great pride in knowing that these advantages are very unique to ARIP. 

Isaac Lee Student of [High School in California]

I am having ARIP withdrawals. It has now been a full week since the Advanced Research Internship Program 2017, and I still cannot stop thinking about the genuinely awesome two weeks I lived at USC. To sound cliche, I really enjoyed learning and absorbing everything ARIP had to offer; including the college campus life, the knowledgeable professors, the engaging labs, the beautiful Natural History Museum of LA County, the sense of cooperation and interaction with all of my fellow participants...the list goes on and on. I will never forget what I experienced through the program nor will the rest of the world, seriously. The program enabled participants to publish DNA sequences and data into the Barcode Of Life Data (BOLD) Systems, allowing us to affect the international scientific community. I definitely recommend signing up for the ARIP 2018 program for next year and the years to come. I mean, who wouldn't want to walk around an university acting like they belong there? 

Sooyun Jang Student of [University of Virginia]
I learned a lot from ARIP 2017. Although I am becoming a sophomore in college, I have never experienced really college life. I really enjoyed cooperating with other participants during the program. The professors were amazing too. I could see that Dr. Regina and Dr. Pencheff are passionate about their work. They inspired me a lot that I want to become like them in the future.
Audrey Yeh Student of [High School in California]

ARIP was truly an unforgettable experience. Not only was I able to spend time in a professional lab and work with fellow aspiring individuals, I got to form close bonds with them over two weeks. The work we completed throughout the program was very interesting and enjoyable, but the time I spent with my new friends and professors was the highlight. Although the schedule was always flexible and changing, everyone was able to adapt well and make the most of the time. The staff and teachers were very passionate about their work, which inspired us to work hard and create quality presentations to wrap up the last few days. Of course, some other highlights were being able to walk around a university campus with my friends and have meals together, stay up late working, or hang around the dorms: moments that I will never forget. I'm so thankful I was able to attend ARIP 2017, meet people similar to myself, work with patient and kind professors, and learn a multitude of things. We even received important awards that will be useful in our futures! I'm glad to have been a part of such a wonderful program.

Hojung Chung Student of [High School in California]

At first, ARIP program did not pose much interest in me, as I was not into any DNA related topics nor did I want to go through the hassle of meeting new people. However, as I actually got into the program and met new friends, teachers, and professors, I gradually realized that this was an once in a lifetime opportunity to physically experience what is perceived as "outside world", apart from school. Throughout the process of DNA extraction to virtually posting the information on BOLD heightened my sense of what it is like to a part of the society that we live in. Being exposed to different kinds of people outside of my usual vicinity greatly broadened my sense of the real world, as they provided me with invaluable knowledge. Professors were informative, knowledgeable, and gave me a sense of what an actual workplace is like, as the only adults I came across in my life are teachers and my parents. New friends that I met in the program also gave me a new vision, making the two weeks in the program more than an enjoyable experience. Some had helped me extensively in my research, while others gave me advice regarding succeeding in school in general. Overall, I would strongly contend that ARIP program did impact my way of life significantly, assisting myself to the realization that the world is bigger than I previously considered it to be, giving me the motivation to further pursue science related major in the future, and also to become a better person as a whole.

Grace Park Student of [High School in California]

The two weeks I spent at USC for the 2017 ARIP program was one of the highlights of my summer. It was an amazing experience to get to know people of diverse backgrounds and work as a team towards the same goal. I met amazing students who were interested the same scientific field as me and formed relationships that will last even after the program.
The staff of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles was very encouraging and helped all students throughout the process of acquiring specimen to finding the DNA sequences. It was amazing to work alongside scientists such as Dr. Regina Wetzer and Dr. Dean Pentcheff for the Diversity Initiative for the Southern California Ocean project and participate in something that will be viewed by people all over the world in the BOLD database. Throughout the program, I realized the importance of the network and communication in the scientific community. 

Bryant Hwang Student of [High School in Korea]

I am a rising Junior at Bugil Academy. Although my favorite subject is physics, I have great interest in biology as well. ARIP program allowed me to have first hand experience with technologies that are currently being used by marine biologists and researchers. ARIP helped further my knowledge in biology and it also taught me some important life skills such as how to research effectively, how to work collaboratively, how to build and carry out experiments, and how to give an effective speech. ARIP was also a great opportunity for me to meet many students that are interested in STEM. I enjoyed ARIP program so much.