No one can accuse Payden Dompe ’17, of being idle on campus. The biomedical sciences major and biochemistry minor is involved in just about everything.
“I am the president of the biology club, president and co-founder of the Armed Forces Alliance, treasurer of Delta Beta Epsilon, Makona sweetheart for 2015-2016, a member of the color guard, active in religious life, member of the honors program, and, of course, my research,” said Payden. “All this plus I have a job at Hendrick Medical Center ER as a scribe. Yes, I know I am a crazy woman.”
Payden spent the summer working on her biology project, funded by the Beasley Research Stipend, which focuses on the use of molecular methods to determine genetic relationships among currently recognized subspecies of moles. It is possible that she will determine that some of the subspecies are genetically different enough to warrant species level recognition, or that some of the subspecies are actually very genetically similar.
Awarded yearly in honor of former biology professor Dr. Clark Beasley, the stipend is possible only through the generosity of alumni who wanted to support Dr. Beasley’s lifelong commitment to funding student research.
The award has funded Payden’s time in the lab as well as providing her many of the supplies necessary for the project, said Biology Professor Dr. Joel Brant. “The Beasley Award has provided Payden with the opportunity to gain real world laboratory experience which will aid her in the post graduate job market.”
“The bulk of Payden’s research involves hours of work in the lab processing tissue samples to isolate, amplify, and analyze the mitochondrial DNA,” said Dr. Brant.
“This experience has been crazy awesome,” said Payden, who did her research this summer under the direction of biology professors Dr. Dana Lee and Dr. Joel Brant. “The research looks fantastic on my resume and has helped me know how to talk in front of peers eloquently, how to problem solve when everything is going wrong (and how to not break down), and how to realize that no project is too small or too large to begin and finish. Researching the eastern mole may seem small to some, but for others like me, it is huge.”