Ashton Lesiak ’11 would be happy working for either the FBI or the DEA, doing trace evidence and drug analysis. Wherever she ends up, the experience she gained through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education’s Department of Homeland Security Summer Internships Program will be invaluable.
During her ten week internship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Ashton had the opportunity to design and conduct her own long-term research project. She polished her lab skills and learned new techniques while preparing samples, performing acid digestion and fusion, isolating radioactive isotopes from soil samples, and running analyses. She also enjoyed meeting chemists in diverse areas. At the end of the internship, she wrote a paper and presented her findings to the scientific community at NIST.
A double major in Chemistry and Politics and a Nisbet Honors graduate, Ashton feels she was especially prepared for this internship with the public speaking and research skills she picked up as a member of Converse’s Model League program, as well as the solid basis of laboratory skills she gained in her class work at Converse.
Ashton is now completing her doctorate in forensic chemistry at SUNY-Albany.