Happy 25th Anniversary, RAP!

Happy 25th Anniversary, RAP!

Apr 24
Maxine Roman, RAP alum 2003, 2004, 2005
  
When I started high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do for my career. Then one day, my high school guidance counselor suggested that I apply for the Research Apprentice Program (RAP) at the University of Illinois. I was a bit skeptical because I didn’t really know what agricultural sciences meant, but since it was the only free summer program that I had heard of tailored for students interested in science, I decided to apply.
 

Little did I know of the significance RAP would have in my life. When I participated in the program’s individual research component, I conducted research in a lab of food chemistry under the guidance of Dr. Elvira de Mejia. I discovered a passion for food science that has driven me for the past decade to my current position as a PhD candidate in food science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

RAP allowed me to hone my academic and leadership skills while working on projects that most students wouldn’t have the opportunity to be involved with until graduate school. I have no doubt that RAP was essential to making me a college applicant who stood out among a very competitive student body. The enthusiastic faculty and staff that I met through RAP have connected me to countless leadership, scholarship, and internship prospects. More significantly, I found an exceptional group of friends and mentors who fostered my growth while I was a student at the University of Illinois and became like a family to me. To this day, I can rely on them for support and motivation.

Happy 25th anniversary, RAP!