Working as a Lab Assistant for the DRC

As a lover of science who is interested in doing research, I tried searching for research related opportunities during my sophomore year when I stumbled upon an opportunity to work as a lab assistant for the Purdue University Disability Resource Center (DRC). 
Although the job was not the typical scenario of where you help would a professor or graduate student with their research and run cool experiments, I thought it would be a great way to freshen up my laboratory skills while also also being able to help someone out. As a lab assistant, I would be tasked to help a disabled student with the physical mechanics and dexterity requirements of lab activities. I would work directly with the disabled student by performing disability-related tasks such as the physical manipulation of lab materials, adjusting/moving lab equipment, recording data, or completing lab worksheets. Before starting the job, I had to complete the appropriate health safety trainings that were required. Although I had no previous experience working with a disabled person, I was excited to help out the student that I was working with and to do something a little more useful with my time. My responsibilities as a lab assistant were quite simple but I ended up befriending the student that I worked with and had to chance to help the rest of her lab group with navigating through the lab procedures and figuring out chemistry problems. I was also able to gladly give them pointers on how to excel in the respective chemistry course because it was a course I took in the past. Overall, being a lab assistant for the DRC was a great opportunity to brush up on chemistry concepts and procedures that might be useful in the future. Most of all, it was a relatively easy but fun job that gave me satisfaction from helping others out. 
 
The Disability Resource Center at Purdue has great opportunities, such as being a student note-taker in a current class that you might be taking, for all students who would like to help other students out. The DRC is also an open and hospitable place that will work with you to ensure that you have the same universal access to classes, programs, and activities. Feel free to check it out if need be! 
 
-Megan 

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