This past weekends excursion to St. Louis was absolutely incredible! I was able to build stronger relationships with the other fellows as well as the administrative team of the program. Being able to communicate and interact outside of the heavily structured academic interactions at NIU was very rewarding and enjoyable. I was most excited to meet the McKearns at long last, but I also felt slightly nervous. Once we were finally able to meet them, all of my anxiety melted away because they are the most friendly and welcoming people. Hearing about their lives and experiences was by far the highlight of the weekend. They have inspired me to give back to the NIU community in any way I can, whether it be through volunteering or joining new clubs and programs. I feel that the McKearn Program has prepared me well for all of the excursions this weekend. I was able to discuss my research confidently and at length with anyone who wanted to know more about it. This program has provided me with the confidence and leadership abilities to feel comfortable outside my comfort zone through excursions such as those provided this weekend.The excursions that were planned during our trip were a lot of fun and very informational. Although I am not studying the sciences, all of the information presented at the Danforth Science Center and the BioGenerator was interesting and understandable. As one last treat, we were all able to enjoy a Cardinals game together before going home. Overall, this weekend would not have been possible without the hard work of many exceptional people. I would like to personally thank the McKearns, Provost Dr. Freeman, Vice Provost Dr. Birberick, Joe Matty, and Jason Goode for making this St. Louis trip such a memorable experience!
Shannon’s Wapole’s presentation on Responsible Conduct in Research showed me that researchers must be very careful in how they conduct their research or else they may run into a whole slew of problems. If not conducted with the utmost care, research could be tainted with personal biases, rivalries among colleagues for credit, or even faulty data collection. In the business world, ethics plays a massive role in the way a business is run. If a company is not ethical, customers will not use their services and the business will fail. For this reason, ethics is one of the most important factors in making business decisions. The most common ethical question to arise in the business world is competing interests. Before a major decision is made all parties must be scrutinized to see if any ulterior motive exists other than explicitly stated. A deal could be made, or not made, in order to benefit one’s interests over the interests of the group if they have any dealings on the side. This issue is dealt with by looking into all interested parties backgrounds before making any deal. The business world requires a high level of personal integrity as well to combat this issue. In my personal research one challenge I will face is maintaining an impartial status while the research is in progress. I will need to reserve my own personal judgement until all the evidence has been examined and a result discovered. The United States and Indonesia are both countries which I love, but in this research, neither can be given an advantage over the other. I will remain impartial by frequently discussing my findings with my mentor and contrast those findings with other sources.