Staff Research Associate & Graduate Student
Outstanding Staff | Biochemistry & Molecular Biology + Outstanding Graduate Student | Biochemistry
The Outstanding Staff Award recognizes staff who exemplify excellence, innovation, achievement, contribution and performance, and who inspire and support others. The Outstanding Graduate Student Award is given annually to graduate students who have distinguished records within their programs, shown leadership qualities on campus and worked for the improvement of our College.
Rebecca Young completed her master's degree in biochemistry in Robert Ryan’s lab, while simultaneously working full time as the laboratory manager for the BCH 303 and BCH 406 laboratory classes in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. She completed her master’s research on evenings, weekends and holidays, and generated high-quality data, which should lead to at least one published paper. Rebecca began working at the University in 2016. Since starting, she has overseen the organization, set-up, maintenance, purchasing and safety for the molecular biology and biochemistry teaching labs, and has received both the University's Wolf Cub Award and the College's Outstanding Staff Award. While overseeing lab functions, Rebecca developed a strict system for tracking inventory to ensure supplies are ready for students conducting experiments, and she is always prepared with back-up materials should an experiment fail. Along with aiding in the lab, Rebecca has carried out the University’s mission to provide outstanding learning, discovery and engagement programs to the community by engaging in multiple outreach projects. She has maintained contact with local companies that have donated in support of campus labs, and she volunteers her time to teach at yearly immersive labs at local middle and high schools. Rebecca provides equipment and expertise so students can perform experiments that are not typically completed in their curriculums. She hopes these experiments will inspire the students to study biosciences. Rebecca is highly respected among her peers, and both students and colleagues seek out her expertise and advice on experiments or work in the biosciences industry. She puts her students' needs first in all aspects of her work, whether it is supervising senior thesis students, helping students complete lab work or sharing her experiences.