TRiO Spotlight: Jing Guo

This summer, instead of attending summer school or work the traditional summer job, Jing Guo, a UB Scholar was awarded an internship with Project Seed at the University of Notre Dame. Project SEED, a program founded by the American Chemical Society provides economically disadvantaged high school students with the opportunity to receive hands-on research and lab experience alongside scientist-mentors. Selected students worked full-time in laboratories at the University of Notre Dame or Indiana University School of Medicine (South Bend) for eight weeks, earning a $2500 stipend. Upon completion of the internship, participants wrote a five-page report about their experience.

Coordinated by Dr. Mary Prorok of Notre Dame, Jing studied Mass Spectrometry (the conversion of molecules into ions so that they can be moved about and manipulated by external electric and magnetic fields) under the mentorship of Nonka Sevova in the Proteomics Lab. Due to the high level of expectations, Jing conducted her own research outside of the laboratory. “I wasn’t completely familiar with the concept of Mass Spectrometry so Dr. Sevova provided me with literature and I thought it was pretty interesting. For example, the mass spectrometer is used to detect and identify illegitimate steroids in athletes and animals. I always thought it was a simple urine test, but it’s a lot more in-depth. It’s amazing what the mass spectrometer can detect.”  Recommended by Leo McNellis, Chemistry teacher at Washington High School, Jing was one of six students selected to participate in this year’s cohort. “I’m appreciative of the experience. Even though I want to go out and use the money, I’m going to save it for college expenses next year.”

Jing Guo is a rising senior at Washington High School maintaining a 3.9 GPA. As a scholar of the Medical Magnet program, she aspires to pursue a career in healthcare.