Internship Spotlight: Diana Cater (’13) Blinds Us With Science (Oregon Health & Science University, That Is)

Whitworth English
Diana Cater (’13) is an EL and Biology double major at Whitworth. She’s also a Weyerhaeuser Younger Scholar and the editor of Script, Whitworth’s student literary journal, for the 2012-13 year. Plus, Diana bakes. Really really well.

She recently sent this dispatch about her summer internship (and all of the photos, including the self-portrait, above, which she explains is “For science! Outside CROET headquarters. Damn it, I punned. Have to own it now.”)

I have been in love with science ever since I could hold a National Geographic magazine up by myself, which is why I am thrilled to be working at Oregon Health and Science University this summer. My internship is through the Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology (CROET), with a program called Let’s Get Healthy!: an interactive health fair that visits schools and community centers around the country. Considering that the Let’s Get Healthy! team spends a lot of time educating middle school students, they wondered if students’ attitudes toward science and research improved after visiting the fair. So LGH sent a survey to students before they attended the health fair, asking them to evaluate their opinions and attitudes toward science and research, and then another survey after they visited LGH. My job is to look at the differences between those pre and post surveys.

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Photo above: The main hospital and OHSU tram.

I spend a lot of time reading scientific literature, formatting data in statistical programs, qualitative coding (which is almost entirely linguistic—high five, EL majors), and analyzing Likert scale scores.

I learned CROET provided summer internships by perusing the OHSU website, and then looked into researchers I thought I would be excited to work with. I really believe that enthusiasm is the key to finding a job you enjoy. When I look for internships every summer, I make a long list of people I would love to work for, and keep knocking on doors until one of them opens. I have never been disappointed this way.

More photos from Diana:

Whitworth English

My morning commute starts at 6 am when I catch the WES train to Portland, and ends at 6 pm when the train comes back. Reading time and cloud watching.

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If you have the view, invest in floor-to-ceiling windows. Everywhere.

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It’s enough to make me feel a little small.

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Don’t drive. Take the tram down the hill and enjoy the horrifying drop.

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I still get lost.

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Slate Oregon sky.

Are you a Whitworth EL major or alum? Do you have news or thoughts to share? Contact Nicole at nsheets@whitworth.edu

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