Chemistry student Lauren Longobardi. (Photo: Nick Pearce)
Inspiring a New Generation of Researchers
October 29, 2009
Third-year science student Lauren Longobardi could have spent the summer working near her Fall River home.
Instead, the 20-year-old put her talents as an honours chemistry student to good use in the lab, part of a research team whose work will ultimately help combat breast cancer. She was one of more than 70 undergraduate students employed in science labs at Dalhousie this summer.
“It’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Ms. Longobardi says enthusiastically. “I think the more students that can get this experience, the better.”
“In class, labs are designed so everything works. The procedures are all set out,” she notes. “Research is very different – it’s more about independent thought, and you have to work through the problems that arise.”
More students will get that chance, thanks to the new Faye Sobey Student Undergraduate Research Endowment. The $1-million endowment from the David and Faye Sobey Foundation will fund up to 10 additional research positions for undergraduate science students each summer, in perpetuity.
When Faye (Naugle) Sobey graduated from Dalhousie in 1953 with a major in biochemistry, she was one of only 55 science students – only 14 of them female.
She spent a summer working in a university research lab, an experience she found exhilarating and crucial to a well-rounded education.
“It is my hope that by creating a new research endowment, many more deserving students are afforded the same opportunity that I was so fortunate to have received,” she said during a luncheon organized to celebrate her gift.
“I wish Dalhousie University continued success building on its legacy as a leading research university and, above all, inspiring generations of students to come.”