Jett Duval '24
I came to Bryant wanting to be a vet but didn't really know what I wanted to be. I just knew I liked biology. Then I got into research and that's how I changed my career goals.
I never realized I could do research as a career, and never thought I was capable of doing it until I came to Bryant. Now I want to get my Ph.D. in molecular biology or glycobiology.
Tell us about studying the sciences at Bryant.
It’s a very tight-knit community. There are lots of one-on-one interactions with faculty, like my mentorship with Professor Christopher Reid. I had him for Introductory Chemistry I and II, and then that summer he offered me an internship in his lab. Since then, I've worked with him every semester, every summer, and we've created a bond. He's helping me with grad school, connecting me with different colleges. The networking has been awesome.
What kinds of research are you doing?
I started on a project with fungi. I didn't understand anything, but Professor Reid believed in me. The next summer is when I really started to enjoy what I was doing. I'm working with mutants of bacteria and on a few different projects.
I'm also mentoring another student right now, teaching her different machines and how to do what I do. It’s very rewarding. I want to be a professor eventually, so it's good practice. That's my goal in the end: teaching the next generation of science youth.
Have you shared your work with the science community?
Every summer I present at the SURF [Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship] conference at URI; that’s the end point of my summer internship. I presented at Bryant’s REDay [Research and Engagement Day] and won the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences Award. I also presented at two conferences in 2023, at Northeastern and at Brandeis. In spring 2024, I'm going to New Orleans for the American Chemical Society’s National Conference for Chemistry.
What’s next for you?
I'm looking at grad school at the University of Georgia in Athens; Professor Reid’s old boss is there, and he connected me. They’ve offered me a job next summer. I'm going to work in their lab, on an antibiotic project that’s funded by the Department of Defense, which is really cool. I owe a lot to Bryant.
How are you involved at Bryant outside academics?
I've taken advantage of everything Bryant has to offer. I'm a resident assistant, in Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, in Best Buddies, and in the Skateboard Club. I also do club Frisbee, rugby, and lacrosse. And I work at the library, as a dog walker, and at the Art Barn. I like to try new things.
What’s your favorite thing about Bryant?
I really like how small the campus is because since I do so much, I know everyone. I live here during the summer, too, so I'm also friends with the faculty. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, there's noon hoops and we play basketball with the faculty.
As a first-generation college student, I really didn’t know what to expect from college. I think that’s why I’ve tried so many new things. I just wanted to get the most out of this experience.
What advice would you give to future Bulldogs?
Don't be afraid to try new things. A lot of people here are really nice and are willing to help you. Also, you don’t have to have it all figured out yet. Just do what you like, and your path will find you.
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