Student Research Experiences

Post-Graduate stories

Why should you be a part of research at Clarion University?

CARIPD is the academic-industry outreach center at Clarion University.  It is intended to provide industrial experiences in an educational environment for our students; preparing you for your first job out of college.  The following interviews are from students that have conducted internships through CARIPD.   We hope that their stories will help you reflect on what experiences you may need in college to prepare you for the next step in your life.

Christa Matlack

Research Conducted

"I was an intern at CARIPD from October 2012 through May 2013. I was involved in a dental implant project, specifically, the biology portion of the project. My role was to maintain the cell lines until the titanium wafers were coated with carbon nano-diamonds then I would plate the cells onto the wafers. After a designated growth period, I would run a cell titer assay to calculate the number of cells growing on each wafer in an attempt to determine whether or not there was increased cell adhesion to the treated wafers in comparison to the untreated wafers." 

The project that Christa led has resulted in a patent and is currently in its next step towards commercialization.

experience Gained 

"The best part of working at CARPID was the experience I gained in the laboratory. Through my internship, I acquired new laboratory skills that allowed me to expand my abilities to make me more marketable for research jobs within the biology field. In addition, I was able to learn a lot about working in research from Ben. He was able to provide me with a lot of advice and direction when it came to applying to research positions. The laboratory skills I acquired at CARPID helped me land, and be successful in my current position. I have been able to use the cell culture techniques I learned through my internship to produce and maintain mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) for use in our current research at Geisinger. In addition, my internship helped me increase my attention to detail and organizational skills required to work in a laboratory setting. These skills will help me in future as I look to take the next step in my career."

Where is she now?

"Currently, I am employed at the Janet Weis Center for Research at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. I am a research technician in a laboratory that studies embryonic heart development. We have colonies of knockout mice that we use to recreate human embryonic heart defects to study how specific genes function in the development of cardiac tissue."

"If I could give one piece of advice to someone hoping to become successful it would be: Never give up. The only way to get yourself where you want to be in life is through hard work. Sometimes, your hard work may go unnoticed, but if you really want to be successful, all you can do is keep trying your best and eventually someone will notice."


Dylan Alu

research conducted

"I pursued an internship at CARPID in my junior year of college at Clarion University. I officially started in May of 2013 and I continued to work at CARPID until I graduated in May of 2014. While I was at CARPID, I was involved with a project seeking to model the effects of nanodiamonds within a thin film of engine oil. I was tasked with independently learning to operate Comsol, a multiphysics program capable of coupling and modeling various types of physics together and then using that program to model the project parameters. [Under the guidance of CARIPD,] I learned to operate the complex program by attending webinars, following tutorials, and interfacing with Comsol representatives."

"I worked on the modeling throughout the majority of my time at CARPID culminating in a completed model for the motion cycle of the nanodiamonds and preliminary findings for the heat diffusion model. I created a poster to document my research and presented the findings at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Undergraduate Research Conference of 2013 and again at the Undergraduate Research Conference held at Clarion University during."

experience gained

"My time at CARPID gave me the confidence and experience I needed to be prepared for a professional setting and to efficiently manage the responsibilities I have now and will have in the future. Without my experiences at CARPID I don't think I would feel nearly as prepared as I do now. My current job (and future endeavors) requires that I learn a lot of new information, design new documents and systems, present professional reports, and attend seminars and workshops. Because I had had the opportunity to experience what it was like to work on a project independently, learn all the necessary skills and information to perform the project, and then present those findings, I feel right at home in my new position, which draws on a lot of skills that I had built through my internship at CARPID"

Where is he now?

"I currently work for Drucker Diagnostics, a medical device manufacturing company as their Regulatory Coordinator. In this position I manage the regulatory accounts, documents, data, and overall system for monitoring and recording regulatory related information. I manage the company's technical files, design history files, and provide guidance for design controls, documentation, and validations for all design and process changes. I also design new quality and regulatory procedures, management systems, and record keeping systems. Finally, I manage the calibrations schedule and the quality record systems that I designed. Overall, I'm in charge of ensuring that the company's products and future endeavors are compliant with the regulations of the FDA, EU Directives, ISO, and other regulatory agents."

"If I could give one piece of advice to someone hoping to become successful it would be: Don't be afraid to fail. You'll never know what you're really capable of if you don't give everything your all. Being afraid to fail prevents you from experiencing new things and makes you miss out on opportunities in life. Confidence is born from our successes in life and strength is born from our failures. So never be afraid to fail in life because every time you fall short and try again you're that much closer to being where you want to be. Life is full of opportunities to be successful, you just have to work hard and have the confidence to seize those opportunities to be successful."

Last Updated 6/12/18