Kelsey Miller, 2014
Biology Major, Biostatistics and Statistics minor
USDA, Agricultural Research Service
Summer 2013, paid
Senior Biology major Kelsey Miller spent the summer of 2013 interning for the US Department of Agriculture. During her internship, she worked on two projects involving food regulations and bacteria. The first project looked at the fermentation of sausage, which involved injecting bacteria into sausage and studying how the bacteria responded to various cooking and storage temperatures. With this information, the USDA can then institute regulations on pre-cooked sausage so as not to infringe upon the health and well-being of the consumer. Kelsey also worked on a project with the main objective of validating new technology for manufactures. This process was carried out by inoculating meat with bacteria in order to study how well microbials killed the injected bacteria. While this internship has ended, Kelsey will be presenting at a conference in Nebraska this coming May concerning the research conducted during this internship.
During her internship, Kelsey developed her critical analysis and writing skills, which she will utilize during her remaining two semesters at Ursinus. “The environment is very fast paced,” Miller stated, “you have to always be on your feet and ready to shift from one project and mind set to another, since we all worked together on many different projects.”
Kelsey believes that she was a part of an incredible work environment. “My bosses were very approachable and really emphasized being a team player and working together.” This team atmosphere allowed Kelsey to make many connections with many individuals not restricted to the two projects she primarily worked on.
While Kelsey’s research at Ursinus focuses mainly on antibiotic research, she enjoyed her internship and the chance to work on different research. “I was still able to work with antibiotic research, but in a different way and with a different focus. It was cool to read articles that referenced USDA scientists and realize that I was one of them this summer."
Miller encourages any student to pursue an internship if they’re hesitant. “Internships give you the opportunity to see what’s really happening in the field you’re studying. I was able to see Medical Microbiology happen in a real world setting, which was incredible.”