Hatching a Passion

Claire Neiberg

When I received my default participation ribbon in 8th grade, congratulating my science fair board that detailed the best method to soft-boiling an egg, I never imagined that six years later I would be a Scientific Communication intern

The bottom line is, I am not a science person. If there were molecules, minerals, measuring, microscopes, or methods involved, I did not want it. Or at least I never thought I would

So how did I get here? On Duquesne University’s scientific journal?

I found my place in high school through publications. I was the editor-in-chief of my school’s creative writing magazine and a news writer and photographer for the school newspaper. Conducting research and writing on topics I was passionate on and then sharing them with the world (or my town of less than 20,000 people) gave me confidence and purpose. 

I knew I wanted join student publications in college, so I quickly applied to write for The Duke and joined :lexicon’s Poetry Committee. However, there was one more publication that quietly sparked my interest: The D.U. Quark.

Jumping back to the first paragraph where I boldly stated, “I am not a science person,” what I actually meant was that I struggled greatly in science and therefore, deemed it as my least favorite subject. This frustrated me because I had always wanted to be able to understand science with ease because of how versatile of a subject it is and how it literally makes up our entire world. 

With this goal in mind, I saw joining The Quark as an opportunity to expand my horizons as a writer and a student, so I wrote down my name and email address and attended the first meeting a week later.

A year and a half later, and I am still extremely involved in the journal, and while this is something I did not expect initially after signing up, I am so glad it is the case.

The Quark means a lot to me, and my goal for this internship is to simply get our name out more. I want every student, no matter their school, to know who The D.U. Quark is and feel welcome to join at any place and time, regardless of their major. 

Tabling and conducting interviews at the 2019 Undergraduate Research Symposium

As the Promotions Manager, my main responsibilities are running our social media accounts and planning events. I also conduct interviews where I talk to Duquesne students about their work in the STEM field. These interviews are highly interesting and have taught me an incredible amount in a short time. Last spring, I started designing graphics for our Instagram account (@TheDUQuark, give it a follow) to make announcements and advertise events. I plan on creating even more of these and combining them with interviews to lift our social media presence and draw more interest.

Spring Party advertisement

I am slowly solidifying exactly what I want to accomplish in this semester, and I expect to change directions multiple times. More than anything, I just want my work to reach other students and help them gravitate to working with an amazing staff of students; all working toward different goals under the same umbrella.  

The D.U. Quark has not only helped me sharpen my writing, design, and people skills, but it has led me to embrace a subject that I never thought I would have the ability to. It has opened up new doors, new interests, and has taught me about science beyond the best method to soft-boiling an egg. 

2019 Student Publications Awards Dinner

With that ending, I can whole-heartedly say that I am beyond excited for this internship and about the work I am doing!

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