Tell Us about Yourself

Dr. Shen: Mentor

Tiana: Apprentice

What AEOP program(s) did you participate in?

High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP)

What is the Most Important Part of the Mentor Relationship?

Tiana: My friendships with my lab partner Olivia, Dr. Shen and his colleagues made my HSAP internship one of my favorite high school memories. I enjoyed performing experiments and working with lab equipment, but our day-to-day interactions made our entire team feel like a family by the end of the summer.

Dr. Shen: I am always fascinated by creative research ideas and untraditional questions raised from my students. While I taught them hands-on skills, they also brought fresh ideas to me. I really enjoy learning from these talented, new generation students.

Advice to a Student, Just Beginning to Consider a Career in STEM?

Tiana: My advice to a science student would be that it is okay to fail and to feel like you don’t have all the answers. Science is a complex, diverse and evolving field. Every trial, experiment or experience has merit. Always keep asking questions; you just might surprise yourself.

Dr. Shen: Keep your passion and embrace rapid changes in science. Essentially, all scientific fields are going through rapid changes in a pace that we have never seen before.

What Got You Interested in this Field?

Tiana: I live on the saltwater marsh and growing up surrounded by the unique ecosystem of my home really sparked my interest in ecology from a young age. That love of ecology expanded into a love for biology, chemistry and environmental science.

Dr. Shen: During my PhD study, I worked as a summer research intern at Amgen, a biopharmaceutical company, where I was involved in and fascinated by pre-clinical research on developing drugs for cancer treatment. That experience inspired me to pursue biomedical research to save lives.

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Tiana Ruden & Dr. Shen

Dr. Kai Shen and Tiana Ruden
  • The High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP)

    The High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP)

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