Damon Greenwald is a junior Biology major who is involved in the completion of a research project through the National Science Foundation, which is an independent federal agency designed to promote the progress of science through their REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program. This is a program consisting of undergraduate students who work on a specific research projects while working closely with faculty members and other researchers. Damon enjoys the lab courses at Seton Hill and he is particularly interested in the topic of Genetics within the Biology curriculum. After sharing his interest with Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Brzyski, he began working on a research project to quantify genetic variation through extraction and amplification of plant DNA.
This project was meaningful to Damon because of his interest in working in a research-oriented environment. He is considering pursuing pharmaceutical research, and says this project offered insight to the long-term commitment that is required when conducting research. Damon explains, "an interesting aspect is that one plant genus that we are currently working on, Scutellaria, may have potential pharmaceutical properties, which makes this research even more exciting, considering my interest in pharmaceuticals." For the outcome of the project, Damon hopes to take some of the experiences with him, such as working through modifying protocols, keeping proper lab technique, and drawing conclusions from lab results and connecting them to the bigger picture. He also hopes to continue finding results in this project, so it can lead to new research projects.
Not only is Damon excelling in his academic career at Seton Hill, he is thriving in his athletic career in wrestling as well. He claims to have committed to Seton Hill due to the connection he built with Coach Tucker as well as the demonstration of teamwork he saw during his visit. Damon enthuses, "it is really enjoyable to be involved in the wrestling program since we have shown great strides in recent years. Competing with high-level caliber teams shows how great of a job Coach Tucker, Coach Marshall and Coach Nauman have done in guiding and preparing us as wrestlers." This year, Damon placed 8th in the Nation, which he says is his greatest college memory so far! He is thankful for his coaches, family and teammates for their support because, "it would not have been possible without each of them."