Training the next generation of Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia researchers isn’t limited to students or trainees with advanced degrees at our center. At the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester, Data Core Leader, Dr. Kelly Bakulski, Data Systems Manager, Jon Reader, and Data Analyst, Allyson Gregoire, submitted a project to the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) with the goal of finding two students interested in learning about the research process, developing their programming skills, and applying statistical models to answer research questions they would independently develop. Guanghan (Henry) Ma and MaryClare Sacca were two such students up to the challenge. Even though both students said they had “little to no” experience with reading scientific literature, developing a research question, cleaning, or analyzing data at the start of their UROP experience with our center, a combination of their hard work and the collaborative mentorship from our staff and faculty resulted in excellent presentations by both students at the UROP Symposium this past April.
Henry presented on “Assessing the relationship between episodic and working memory among cognitively impaired and normal individuals” and MaryClare’s work was on “Analyzing the bond between co-participant reports older adults’ daily functioning capabilities and their cognitive abilities: Does the relationship to the participant matter?”
The end of positive experiences are always bittersweet, but we are excited to see what these two can do in the future and to see what next year’s students create!