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Undergraduate Research Spotlight

March 2018

Dominic Fogarasi in Ecuador after Graduation

This Month's Spotlight: Where Are They Now?

Dominic Fogarasi (Class of 2017) is the face of last year's Undergraduate Research Symposium. Since this past July, he has been living in Ecuador as a year-long volunteer with a Catholic foundation called Rostro de Cristo. He lives in Monte Sinai, an impoverished invasion community that formed as thousands of people moved onto farmlands on the outskirts of Guayaquil, which is Ecuador's biggest city. The Rostro mission is focused on being rather than doing; that is, forming relationships and sharing ourselves with the people we are with instead of completing projects and tasks for them.

The last portion of the mission involves hosting groups for week-long experiences in which they get to know our ministry sites, meet neighbors, and learn about local realities and culture that affect daily life here. Throughout our year, he will lead two of these groups. Being the volunteer leader means you choose which neighbors the group will meet, you translate for the group, and you accompany the group everywhere as they walk the streets of Monte Sinai. Fordham's own GO! Ecuador team will be here in his community this March!

When asked about how his undergraduate research experiences in the lab of Dr. Steven Franks influences his life today, Dominic had this to say:

My research experience taught me about different investigative techniques, the way to ask a question, design a project to test it, and then compare the results to previously existing knowledge. I learned how to present my results in a concise way, write up the information in a formal report, and explain it to others. All of these skills will be useful for me in the future: I will be applying to medical school this coming summer in hopes of becoming a physician. Asking the right questions, comparing results to previous patterns and data, presenting the information in a formal way and being able to explain things in a simplified way are all important for the medical profession as well.

Dominic tell us that these experiences in research have brought him closer to his dream of being a doctor while this year another dream is coming true.

The Scope and Impact of Undergraduate Research

Each month, Fordham College at Rose Hill is proud to share highlights from our thriving undergraduate research program. Our students are actively involved in faculty-mentored research across disciplines, participating in a range of activities including utilizing state of the art equipment in our labs, meeting with patients in medical settings, spending time in the community interviewing and surveying members to achieve a greater understanding of historical and contemporary questions, reviewing source data in New York City and even around the world, as well as collecting specimens in the field for our many projects based in environmental settings. Excitingly, our students' contributions have considerable impact in their respective fields and to their professional development.