How I got involved in research …

Hi everybody,

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my experience before I applied for INSET and how it has transformed my life.  Before I was selected to be part of INSET, I had a rough idea of what to expect for the program even though I had never done research in the past.  Some people who have known me for years at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) would often times tell me how beneficial it would be for me to do research and internships; “You are definitely suited to do research, ” they would say.  What they did not know is that I could not apply for INSET because of certain circumstances that prevented me from doing so.  When I finally got the opportunity to apply for INSET, I had a conversation with a faculty member from SBCC, who more than my ex-organic chemistry professor is my friend and confidant, namely Jens Kuhn.  He encouraged me to not hesitate to apply for INSET as well as for other internships.  I did, and within a couple months, I was notified of my selection for INSET.  As I was reading the e-mail Maria Napoli sent about my selection in my car, after a long but productive day of school, a lot of emotions fused into one and tears started to roll down my face as I kept reading the e-mail.  I then preceded to accept the INSET offer right away.  It has been indeed an honor and a privilege to be part of the INSET program this summer 2013.  Over the past seven weeks, I have met and worked with people who are so passionate about what they do and willing to cooperate.  Specifically, at The Read Lab, everybody is always willing to go out of their way to help me run experiments effectively, and, by doing so, they have made me feel very special.  I feel extremely fortunate to be part of The Read Lab and to be working on the nitroso project because of its applications in various reactions, which, by the way, have a small environmental impact.  I never thought I would learn so much in such a small period of time and run so many reactions, which will be illustrated on my poster.  Thanks again Read Group for the fantastic collaborative team work atmosphere you have built and let me be part of it. Thanks Charles Frazier and Javier Read de Alaniz too; you two have shown me what it means to be a true team leader.  INSET just could not get any better and am glad I applied. Now I know what to do next: more research!


Francisco J Mancillas

PS thanks for everything Jens and everybody who has helped me along the way 🙂

INSET Lab Photos, 2013 (72)

My First Three Weeks as an INSET Intern

Hi everyone,

I want to take this opportunity to express my most sincere opinion on my experience with the INSET Internship during the past three weeks.  When I first applied for INSET, I had little knowledge about the tremendous educational enrichment of the program as well as the future benefits that come with it.  So far, I have been just fascinated by all the graduate and undergraduates researchers as well as the PI, Javier Read de Alaniz, at the Read Lab located in the North Physical Sciences Building; everybody is just so passionate and knowledgeable about organic chemistry.  They are also very friendly with me and have even gotten out of their way just to help me.  Indeed, I have no words to express how fortunate I feel to be part of The Read Lab, having such a patient, kind-hearted, smart  mentor, Charles Frazier, and to be working at the nanoscale building carbon-nitrogen bonds!

I would also like to comment that the INSET program, on top of getting hands-on experience at the lab, also offers the incredible opportunity to give power-point presentations to other interns and even PIs from various fields. What a great way to show others what one has learned and done at the lab!  Last but not least are the GRIT Talks: a fantastic chance to learn and hear some of the UCSB professors discuss how science is constantly changing the world we live in.  I truly hope everybody is having as much fun as I am doing his/her internship.  Here are some pictures of that I took while I was at the lab. The first one is a Diels-Alder reaction while the second one is an extraction: