Elsa Luebke

Lab Name: Riters Lab

How did you initially get involved in research?

I was able to get into research when my current mentor, Alyse Maksimoski, was my TA for introductory biology. I remember really liking her as a TA, and joining her in the Riters lab seemed like an exciting opportunity, so I reached out after having a few meetings she invited me to join the lab as an undergraduate research assistant.

How did you decide on a research topic?

My research topic just came to me after spending time helping in the lab. I realized that I had so many questions about phenomena and behaviors and was driven by relentless curiosity. Thankfully, my mentor helped me form these curiosities into hypotheses, which we were able to narrow down to ones that were more feasible to research.

How has participating in research enhanced your college experience?

To be frank, I think participating in undergraduate research has made me a happier and harder-working student. Not only has it enabled me to build a community and surround myself with like-minded individuals, but also given me a sense of pride and has built my confidence in my abilities and my education. When you have a great mentor and a great lab to surround yourself in, it is an incredibly uplifting and incredible experience. I feel as if participating in undergraduate research has truly set me up for a career path that I would have never imagined myself taking, but one that I love and am truly excited about.

Would you recommend participating in research to another iBio undergraduate student?

I would recommend participating in research to every iBio undergraduate student, truthfully. Not only does it build connections and networks with professionals such as the graduate mentors and the professors, but also it gives a sense of purpose to your education. I appreciate that I can take something that I’ve learned in class and directly apply it to real-life situations that may not be available to me had I not participated in undergraduate research.