Doing undergraduate research under Dr. Meschwitz gave me the unique opportunity to find my passion for research. The experience gave me the confidence to work independently and to solve real world issues using science. The SURF program prepared me for a future career in research. I was honored to represent the state of Rhode Island during the NAIPI trip to Capitol hill. During that time I met with senate staffers to talk about my research experience and to advocate for continued support. This opportunity gave me a better appreciation for the political aspect of funding. It also gave me a great sense of pride to know that although Rhode Island is a small state the research opportunities are competitive and impactful.