McKensey Gariepy is a freshman fellow in the Chemistry department. McKensey is a pre-nursing student who is working with Dr. Brandon Canfield, Assistant Professor of Chemistry.
Tell us about your fellowship project.
For my fellowship project I am doing research on Thimbleberries. Dr. Canfield and I are researching to figure out the amount of antioxidants within the berries. In order to do this we are measuring the total phenolic acid content within different samples of Thimbleberries that were picked in multiple areas of Marquette this past August. High phenolic acid amounts are often linked to high antioxidant amounts within foods. Berries were frozen for storage, and in order to measure the phenolic acids they must first be crushed, dehydrated, extracted, and filtered. Following this sample preparation procedure, we have begun measuring the phenolic acid content using an assay that involves light absorption as a function of concentration.
What value has this experience brought to you so far?
This experience has helped me in applying the lessons I have learned in Chemistry to real life scenarios. The fellowship has allowed me try new things about myself and science. I now know how to successfully pipette and this has helped reaffirm that science is the career field I wish to pursue.
Why did you choose NMU?
I chose NMU for several reasons. My first reason was that I have family up in the Marquette- Munising area. Northern also has a prestigious Nursing Program which I hope to one day be a part of, and the freshmen fellowship offered a unique opportunity I wished to take full advantage of. Plus, the landscape of Marquette is beautiful and the community is so friendly.
What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
For the remainder of freshman year I am looking forward to continuing my fellowship and trying out new experiences. One of the things on my freshmen year bucket list is snow camping. As for my undergrad, I can't wait to see all the new and exciting opportunities that Northern and Marquette have to offer. In the future, I plan to get into the Nursing program here at Northern and then apply for to a graduate program to become a Nurse Practitioner
Read about previous freshman fellows and their research projects: