Irene Ann Fobe

Did you receive any recognition (awards, publications, scholarship) for your applied learning experience?
Briefly describe your applied learning experience

I did an honors project working with Dr. Bruce and Dr. White. I designed an experiment to test for episodic-like memory in rats using  a Radial Arm Maze and different flavored pellets. 

Did you receive any grants or other funding for your applied learning experience?
How did you get involved in this applied learning experience and what did you hope to gain from it?

I knew that I wanted some research experience and I was most interested in animal behavior so I was refferred to Dr. Bruce by a friend. I contacted Dr. Bruce and she showed me around the lab. I immediately knew that the lab was something I wanted to be involved in so I started collecting data on a task called the Odor Span Task. I loved it so much that I decided I really wanted to do an honors project! The lab had a newly purchased Radial Arm Maze, so it was a really great opportunity to design a brand new procedure! 

What did you gain from this experience? What was challenging? What did you learn?

I have learned so much from doing an honors project. I have learned what it is like to put together a procedure to test animal cognition (and it is not easy), from the very basic step of setting up the testing room, to training animals on a task Dr. Bruce and I came up with, to analyzing data and writing a thesis in APA style. It has been challenging, but also very rewarding. The most challenging aspect was probably learning that science is a product of trial and error. My procedure today is VERY different from the original procedure that I started with back at the begining of my project and I have no doubt that if people keep working on it in the lab it will change even more. 

In what way will this experience make you a more viable candidate when you are seeking a job or applying for graduate study?

I have actually been accepted to graduate school for comparative cognition! I will be going to Rochester Institute of Technology in the Fall and I know that my advisor was very impressed with my research experience when I interviewed with her. Other than academically, this project has helped me with interviews! It has been a solid topic to talk about in any interview because it has given me discipline. The type of research I have done has also helped me get animal training internships because I train rats every day! I will be training dolphins this summer at Gulf World Marine park!