An idea you are passionate about is a good start. Your idea doesn’t have to be super solid and you don’t have to know all of the detail. All you need is an idea that is important to you and of significance to other people. For Sofia Catalina, the only thing she really cared about was sustainability and renewable energy. She started her journey in 2013 when her project, to decrease paper use in her high school cafeteria, won her a trip to meet Vice President Al Gore at a leadership summit in Costa Rica. Now, she is a Chemical Engineering major at Northeastern University. Five years into the course, she also works in the electrochemistry lab directed by DiPietro Assistant Professor Joshua Gallaway. She is working on batteries and finding a way to harness the power of renewable energy.
Similarly, Taylor Trail is studying the implications of mental health stigma within the Jamaican community. She is a fourth-year Finance major. She grew up in the US witnessing how mental health stigma has impacted her community. Trail’s research started with an exciting idea that she wanted to explore. With the help of Alisa Lincoln, an interdisciplinary professor of Sociology and Health Sciences, who directs the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research at Northeastern. She started her journey.
At the Curry Student Centre, there will be more than 100 research groups from Northeastern University in Boston. Research is very valuable for the students. It is one of the most important parts of developing and polishing yourself. The most important quality they need to succeed in their research is knowing the issues they really care about. Catalina is working on developing a battery that has the potential to enable renewable energy to replace fossil fuels on the grid For Trail, she is excited to fight mental health stigmas with her study on how they influence Jamaican college students in the U.S. and Jamaica. It’s time for reform in the community.
Prioritising their ideas got Catalina and Trail started on their research. As for the technicalities on how to do the research, they learned them on the go. You learn such things while doing them, there is no rule book on how it all comes from within. Sometimes all you need is an idea to start.