Summer Smith

Student

Student Degree

Bachelor of Science

Student Major

Nursing

I chose to apply to UNCP's Pre-licensure Nursing Program because I heard so many great things about it. One thing in particular that I heard about was the pre-licensure program's outstanding passing rate. The alumni of UNCP have expressed some positive things about the program and those are the things that I took into consideration when I applied. 

During my time at UNCP, there have been many experiences during our clinical rotations and simulation labs that have left an impacting effect on how I view patient care. The moment that made the biggest impact on my view of nursing was during our labor and delivery clinical rotation.  I had the chance to experience the bond between a family after child birth. After this clinical experience, I knew I had found exactly where I was meant to be. Throughout the time I have spent in this program, I learned how important it is to give the best safe and quality patient care when working as a nurse. 

Lonzie Hedgepeth

Student

Student Degree

Bachelor of Science

Student Major

Chemistry and Biology

Student Hometown

Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Career Aspirations and Goals:

My aspirations in life has been to become a pharmacologist emphasizing
molecular biology, genetics, and the effects of drug interactions.

Current Research Activities:

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (Fall 2016-Present): Currently, I am working on a
project exploring the use of medicinal plants by Southeastern American Indians with Dr. Sandefur, in
the Sandefur lab. The objective of this project is to investigate the cellular mechanisms of the efficacy
of medicinal plants. In doing so, we wish to answer two questions: (1) does the decline in the use of
traditional medicines correlates with declining positive health benefits, and (2) do interactions between
currently used traditional medicines and western therapies contribute to health disparities in American
Indian communities?

Other Research Experiences:
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Summer 2016-Present): During the summer, I
worked with Patrick McCarter on a project which aimed to investigate Mitogen-Activated Protein
Kinases (MAPKs) in budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The objective was to define the
dynamic interactions between the two branches (Sln1, Sho1) in the HOG pathways that both respond
to hyper-osmotic stress and activate the same stress adaption mechanism through the Hog1 MAPK.

 

Dakota Lee

Student

Student Degree

B.S.

Student Major

Biology with Biomedical Emphasis

Student Hometown

Cheraw, SC

Biography:

My name is Dakota Lee, and I am currently a sophomore attending UNC Pembroke. I am also a member of the UNCP research program RISE as well as COMPASS. I am from the small town of Cheraw in South Carolina, and I aspire one day to aid in the development of more advanced and easily accessible prosthetics and bionic devices.

Why did I choose to attend UNCP?

I chose UNCP because it is close to my own hometown while offering amazing research and educational opportunities.

What do I like best about UNCP?

I enjoy how close the community of UNCP is. Many colleges are large and the people are hardly connected, if at all so.  However, there are many friendly faces here and helpful people who have made my stay an enjoyable and productive one.

What are my research experiences?

My current research is in RISE alongside Dr. Conner Sandefur, with the goal of determining the antimicrobial properties of local plants traditionally made into teas by Native American peoples of the Pembroke region.

What are my post-graduation plans?

After graduation I plan to go to graduate school and possibly get a master’s degree in biomedical engineering.

Dakota LeeDakota Lee

Cheyenne Lee

Student

Student Degree

B.S.

Student Major

Biology

Student Hometown

Cheraw, SC

Biography:

I am a first generation Native American student from the Pee Dee tribe of South Carolina.  I come from a mostly blue collar background with one grandfather being a construction worker, another being a farmer, and my own father being a mechanical engineer by experience.  My mother was a cosmetologist until she could no longer use her hands to do her work; yet she is still one of the most hardworking people I know.  I live just across the North Carolina and South Carolina border in Chesterfield County, where I attended an impoverished high school with little research opportunity.  My family and I have had to work quite hard to be able to afford my schooling at UNCP. I worked at the INA Bearing factory in Cheraw for my first summer, as a rising sophomore, just to be able to help pay for one semester.  Despite living nearby, I have to pay out-of-state tuition, and I have a twin brother who also attends UNCP, making our costs double.  Thanks to my interests in biomedical research, I was able to apply to both the RISE and COMPASS programs on campus and am extremely grateful to be a part of both, as they have served to lift and guide me towards my ultimate goal of one day earning a PhD degree and being called “Dr. Lee.”  Without the guidance of crucial UNCP faculty, I honestly would have no idea how to accomplish the goals I have set for myself.  I hope they know how grateful I am to them.

Why did I choose to attend UNCP?

I chose to attend UNCP to further myself as a scientist.  I heard people say that UNCP had great faculty who would be extremely willing to help one-on-one with students who really wanted to learn, and they were definitely not wrong.  The University is also close to home, and family is extremely important to me so I love being nearby.

What do I like best about UNCP?

Honestly, I like the UNCP faculty the best.  I am heavily biased toward the Biology Department because of the immense amount of kindness the faculty has shown me, but I have also had great experiences in departments outside of my own field of study.  Most of the professors are extremely patient with my constant questions.  Without the help of the science professors, I would not be able to attend UNCP.

What are my research experiences?

I work in Dr. Conner Sandefur’s Lab, where I am currently researching the antimicrobial effects of Native American (Lumbee) teas made from plants around the area.  We hope that this research may lead to a way to control the gut microbiota in diabetic patients, and result in a treatment for diabetes.  Research has been extremely valuable to me, even during the one semester I have worked.  Already I am able to see how techniques I have learned in a real lab, instead of a classroom, have helped me excel in my actual lab courses, no matter the field of science.  I will hopefully have some off-campus research experience come the summer of 2017, and I am excited to see how the additional experience will reflect in my lab courses.

What are my post-graduation plans?

After graduation, I plan to do research!  Somehow, someway, somewhere hopefully in graduate school, I will be researching something important that will trickle down through the population and into high school textbooks, keeping the upcoming populations smart and ready to battle the next big disease that rears its head.  Hopefully I will be working in some kind of immunology or microbiology lab, but currently I am shopping around for potential graduate schools, and am not ashamed to say that I have no idea where I will end up.

Cheyenne LeeCheyenne Lee

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