Moving from Taichung, Taiwan, a city with a population of 2.8 million, to Findlay, Ohio, a micropolitan of 41,000, Wendy Lin ’18 knew it was going to be an adjustment. Drawn to the University of Findlay by a scholarship offering, she quickly came to find that change is not always a bad thing. The small campus feel and personal mentorship from professors prepared her for her current career as a laboratory assistant with Cellular Technology Limited (CTL), pursuing her dream of working in research.
“I always knew I wanted to do something related to research so that I could learn what is new in the world,” said Lin. “I’m interested in anything that can be learned, observed and gained from working with Mother Nature which can be used to create something beneficial to society and the environment.”
Lin is certainly working to benefit society in her current job. CTL labs performs and analyzes samples from clients with specific studies, focusing on enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Whole Blood Processing. They work with different biotechnology companies and clinics to analyze patients’ samples for anomalies. Lin credits her classes at Findlay with preparing her to succeed in the lab. She said that learning how to properly handle the chemicals and follow procedures cut off time on the learning curve and helped her to be an efficient worker right from the very beginning of her job.
Teaching top-notch technical skills was just one way that Findlay prepared Lin for a career in research. She said that being on a small campus made it easier to make connections with faculty members, which led to new opportunities and new kinds of growth. Her close work with Findlay faculty member Nathan Tice, Ph.D. led her to an opportunity to present her undergraduate research on a national scale. Through the Summer Scholar Program, a 6-week undergraduate research opportunity, she was able to choose a project she was passionate about to pursue. With the financial backing and a faculty mentor that was provided through the program, she developed her initial idea, performed the research and, to her great surprise, went on to present at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR). “I was considering preparing a proposal for the NCUR conference, but really didn’t think I’d be successful,” said Lin. “Dr. Tice really gave me the encouragement and help I needed to submit my work, and I was accepted to present that year!”
Lin finds fulfillment in the field of chemistry because she believes that the experiments she performs have a positive impact in people’s lives. Results from the lab are crucial to the decisions of other medical professionals and she is honored to be a part of that process. Her advice to future chemists is simple: “Take some time to learn about yourself. Enjoy the short joyful moments. Don’t be afraid to surprise yourself.”