Living with cystic fibrosis has taught me resilience, patience, and the determination to succeed in my career as a chemist. Even though I am frequently sick, I use every resource I have to work towards my goals. For example, I read scientific literature while doing my breathing treatments. Time spent in the hospital is a reminder of why I study chemistry, as well as a chance to practice having patience and a positive outlook.
A year from now, I hope to publish my first journal article as a primary author and be making progress on my doctoral thesis. Having just completed all the preliminary requirements for my program, I would advise myself to remember the lessons I have learned from living with CF: to channel my determination into a work ethic that moves me forward, to be patient while working on my thesis, and to have the resilience to stay positive even through a pulmonary exacerbation or failed experiment.
For my creative submission, I used optical components, liquid nitrogen, and a laser from my research lab to create an image of a rose. The laser used to make the rose, much like CF, is initially invisible to the naked eye. As liquid nitrogen creates a cloud of vapor around the mirrors, the laser beam—and the rose—become visible. As I had no experience with optics before last year, this submission symbolizes how I incorporate knowledge into other parts of my life—similarly to my experience with CF.
Earl R.'s Artwork
Earl R.'s Achievements