Audrey Berenson '19

When the world is your oyster (literally)
Audrey Berenson '19

Audrey Berenson ‘19 is a biomedical science: medical microbiology major from Exeter, New Hampshire. She began working in a faculty research lab on campus in 2016, and in 2017, she received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) fr om the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research to study Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria in local oysters. She published a summary of her work in Inquiry, the UNH’s undergraduate research journal.

Berenson continued her oyster research during summer 2018 thanks to the Brian E. Doyle Undergraduate Marine Extension FellowshipShe was also featured in one of COLSA’s most popular Facebook posts. 

COLSA: Looking back on your time at UNH so far, what are you most proud of and why?

Audrey Berenson: Looking back on my time at UNH so far, I am most proud of all of the information that I've gathered. I've pushed myself to take difficult courses while also working in a research lab so that I can build a solid foundation of laboratory skills as well as gain knowledge in several different areas, primarily in microbiology.

I am proud of how hard I've worked in all of my classes. I know that it's paid off when I compare the material that I was struggling with my freshman year to the knowledge that I've gained an understanding of since then.

COLSA: What motivates you?

Berenson: I am motivated by my goals for the future (as well as food). One of my major goals is to find my place the microbiology research community where I can make a lasting difference on the world, particularly in human and environmental health. I am motivated by my passion for microbiology and for learning. I would love to help others enjoy this field as much as I do, perhaps by teaching one day or by sharing information that others would find helpful and interesting.

I am also motivated by the supportive community I have around me. I am lucky to have family, friends, animals, professors, co-workers, and classmates who give me the energy I need to be my best.

COLSA: Why did you choose your major?

Berenson: I chose the biomedical science: medical microbiology major because I realized how much I enjoy research and lab work. This major encourages research and discovery while developing a solid foundation of lab skills to set students up for the future. I find microbiology so fascinating - I've enjoyed so many of my courses.

COLSA: What are you planning to do after graduation?

Berenson: After graduation, I'm planning on working for a few years before going to graduate school. I am not entirely sure what I'm most interested in within the field of microbiology, so I'd like to get some work experience and take my time deciding what to do after that. I am currently looking into jobs with biotechnology companies and research groups.

COLSA: How is your experience at UNH preparing you to achieve your goals?

Berenson: UNH has provided a supportive environment for learning and interesting courses that have prepared me for many different career options. Having passionate professors and researchers around me has been inspirational and I am so grateful to those who have guided me in the right direction.

COLSA: Any advice for students interested in your major?

Berenson: If you are interested in the Biomedical Science: Medical Microbiology major, I would encourage you to give it a try! I have loved many of my courses and that has helped me determine my career goals. Reach out to faculty or students in the program to learn more — we love to talk about our classes and research! If you are currently in this major, keep on pushing! Though some of the courses are difficult, it is so worth it when you come out the other side and can recognize how much you have learned.

COLSA: Finally, tell us one reason you love UNH.

Berenson: I love UNH because it's provided so many opportunities to me to be successful and enjoy what I'm learning.

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