A Working Vacation
July 20, 2010
Forget sleds, skis, or a corncob pipe.
When snow blanketed Maryland last winter, Baylor, ’12, trudged into the 7-foot snow drifts with a less typical piece of snow gear—a clean bucket. Preparing for his summer research as a Hauber Fellow, Baylor collected snow water and took it inside to melt. Then he went back for more. And more. And more.
“Each sample had to be roughly a liter, and it can take up to 10 to 40 times the amount of snow to equal the same amount of rain,” said Baylor, who had packed his bucket when he traveled home to Hagerstown, Md., before the blizzard.
Now Baylor is analyzing the nitrites and nitrates in that melted snow and rain as he tries to understand photochemical reactions in clouds. Baylor is conducting full-time laboratory research for 10 weeks this summer alongside Elizabeth Dahl, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry.
“I want to go into chemical engineering, so I hope coming up with these different ways of problem solving will prepare me for it,” said Baylor, a double chemistry and mathematics major.
A KEYSTONE EXPERIENCE
Aspirations for future graduate school and professional research are top of mind for Loyola’s natural science students who covet the competitive Hauber Fellowships offered each summer. Each fellowship pays $3,500—not a large sum compared to what students can earn in off-campus research internships—but students say the greater reward is the chance to partner with faculty members, experience life as real, full-time researchers, and possibly be involved in producing a paper or presentation.
“We look to this program as one of the keystone and unique things about Loyola in the sciences,” said Rob Pond, Ph.D., associate dean for natural sciences and associate professor of engineering science. Pond administers the program, which was named for the Rev. Edward S. Hauber, S.J., who taught chemistry at Loyola from 1942-66 and first started the chemistry summer research program that grew into the Hauber program.
This summer the University is funding 16 Hauber students. If the University could increase the Hauber endowment, faculty could easily award more than 30 to exceptional students, Pond said. “This is a labor of love for many faculty members who come in over the summer and participate. We’d like to grow the program to whatever level we can.”
The Hauber program was a major draw for Laura Borowski, ’12, who chose Loyola after learning about the summer opportunity for undergrads. As a rising sophomore last summer, the Hillsdale, N.J., resident was awarded a Hauber Fellowship to study fluid motion in soap films with Mary Lowe, Ph.D., professor of physics, and Robert Bailey, Ph.D., associate professor of engineering science. Not only did Borowski present her research at a meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education in Philadelphia, but she also used her Hauber experience to land an internship this summer at GE Middle River Aircraft Systems.
In her interview for the internship, she found herself citing her Hauber experience again and again as she was asked to describe a situation where she was challenged, something that frustrated her, and a time she was thrown into a situation she didn’t anticipate. “Great experiences came from the Hauber,” Borowski said. “I would pay money to do the Hauber.”