SOAR recipient Max Kollar presented his research work on Creating a Bacterial Mercury Sensor using Synthetic Biology as a guest of the Valley City Rotary club, meeting today near the VCSU campus at the VFW in Valley City, ND.
In a 20 minute presentation, Max provided an overview of two projects, the one SOAR funded, the other a continuation of that research, and was open about the work’s challenges, then suggesting these as key to his ability to learn and hone advanced problem solving skills. Max also attributed his interest to pursuing graduate school and professional work in the area of microbiology to his longstanding mentorship with Dr. Hilde van Gjissel, who joined alongside at the Rotary meeting.
“Dr. Hilde” glowed about Max’s work who emphasized the unique opportunity that undergraduate research provides for her science majors who gain a leg-up on post baccalaureate learning and careers, and that while not unique, programs like SOAR@VCSU rival any college’s undergraduate-focused research programs and set VCSU apart because of its faculty’s intrinsic nature to work directly with undergraduates. Implicit to Max’s and Hilde’s work are water quality sensory and monitoring techniques, an area that Rotary International continues to support, even evolve.
Max is a Junior with one year remaining, and indicated that his dream job was work at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA, something Rotary members smiled upon while noting the SOAR program and it’s broad discipline focus as effective for recruiting new students, and therefore great for the community of Valley City.
Max and Hilde were guests of Rotary member Dr. Gregory Carlson, who also serves on the SOAR Advisory Council. In the photo above, Max, Hilde, and Rotary president-elect Dayne Zachrison are featured afterwards.