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Skidmore College
Creating Our Future: The Campaign for SKIDMORE

Q&A with Serena Bradley ’23

October 18, 2021

Serena Bradley ’23Name: Serena Bradley ’23 

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA 

Major: Biology 

Interests and activities: Art, biology, pre-medicine, Skidmore College Emergency Medical Services, Residential Life, Thoroughbred Ambassador for Admissions 

1. Tell us about your collaborative research project. Where was it, who was it with, and what did you do? 

Over the summer, I did a collaborative research project with Dr. Jason Breves, associate professor and chair of the Biology Department. We looked at how hormones impacted fish transition from fresh water to salt water, and vice versa, through RNA quantification. I had no idea about RNA extraction or any of those types of complicated procedures, so it was a great learning experience. 

2. What did you learn?

Learning how to work in a lab was amazing. The collaborative nature of the research — getting to work with a whole team — was invaluable. The CIS building is always talked about as having open spaces that allow students to work together, and I found this to be the case in our lab.  

3. How does your experience in the old science facilities contrast with your collaborative research this summer in the new facilities? What were you able to do that wouldn’t have been possible before? 

In the old facilities, I had taken many of my lab courses for my biology major. At times, I felt very closed off from my peers just because of the setup of the lab. With CIS, the labs are structured so we can collaborate and exchange ideas with each other versus working on our own. It’s been really awesome to have a more collaborative and team-oriented research experience. 

4. What is most exciting to you about the CIS space/classrooms? 

I’m really excited to see all the new technology that’s coming in! One reason I came to Skidmore was to study both art and science, so I love to see the College invest in the sciences, as there’s such a large population of students like me here. 

5.How does your experience in CIS help prepare you for what you’d like to do after Skidmore? 

I’m looking to pursue either research or medical school. I’m really enjoying that CIS affords me the opportunity to better work with and learn from my peers, while also getting more team-building experience in a science-oriented field. I think so very often we isolate ourselves and just work on our specific project, but CIS opens up the opportunity for us to work together and learn from each other. 

6. How will you use your work here at Skidmore to achieve your goals? 

I’m learning lab techniques, which are now available with all the new technology. Learning things like RNA extraction, working with PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machines, even doing some microscopy — all these things I probably wouldn’t have been able to do previously. I’ve really enjoyed learning all these new skills and building up my own scientific knowledge. I’m looking to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can, and as well as I can. At CIS specifically, everyone who is there currently is really helping me achieve that goal.