1. How important are Unique Collections in your teaching, learning or research?
The Library is critical to my research and learning! As our science reference librarian Ms. Erin O’Toole once told me, the specifics are easy to get online, but to gauge the field as a whole, books are where you will find it. Additionally, if I ever want a second pair of eyes to look over any of my work in the way it is worded, Ms. O’Toole is the person I go to first. The fact that I can blend my field with someone who has so much experience doing similar writing and scholarly work teaches me something new each time I visit her. Further, I am fortunate enough to be a part of the biology honor society, BBB, advised by Ms. O’Toole herself, another outlet to my constant endeavor to learn about the subject I enjoy so much.
2. How have Unique Collections changed the way you approach your research, teaching or learning?
Research and learning have become more of a collaborative effort: rather than just something I do alone from my laptop in my room, with the library, I go out and hear personal experiences, tips, specialized stories, and all in all, receive deeply multifaceted help that builds my projects past a level that I have ever reached. Through this very interpersonal adventure, I also have been able to improve the way I am able to present my research, one of the most important elements to scholarship.
3. What do you want others to know about your research, teaching or learning?
Be it science, art, history, or literature, there is always a quest for going past what is currently commonly known and further, sharing this with people. Being able to do this with the most complex topics helps connect us as humans towards a goal so much bigger than ourselves.
Vaccines don’t cause autism! If we are able to achieve in full fledged scale the two objectives of research above, we could clear up this misconception.
Sangita Vasikaran is a 17 year-old infectious virology researcher from the Texas Academy of Math and Science.