Though a little nervous – it was her first PowerPoint presentation before a group of researchers, Jara Moore calmly goes through a 10-minute summary of her research on nematodes…and with that, completed her internship in the Biotechnology program at Central Georgia Technical College. She is set to graduate in June with an Associate of Applied Science Degree.
For the last quarter Jara has researched nematodes with the staff of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit Tree and Nut Laboratory in Byron.
By looking at her presentation – and by her presence in the lab, you can tell instantly that the scientific field is something Jara has always wanted to do. "I always wanted to work in a lab. Originally I wanted to work in pathology, which is still lab work. I started out at a four-year school, but my mother got sick and I had to stop going to classes. Later, I decided that I wanted to go to a technical college and I saw this program at CGTC that involved working in a lab and all the other things I wanted to do as a pathologist. It works!"
Jara also said that having the chance to work in a research laboratory was the best experience of her studies at CGTC. "It was a great learning experience. I learned so much being here. Learning things hands-on at a technical college is great when you get in the field and you really start doing stuff…having to do math calculations, knowing how to make different types of solutions, all that stuff comes in handy and it really brings everything together."
Jara will tell you that she has had a great year at CGTC, from the Biotechnology program, to being one of several students in CGTC's 2008 television commercial (she still gets e-mail messages about it from her high school classmates), to having been nominated this year by her program chair, Dr. Eric Wessinger, for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL). Before her internship, Jara also spent lots of time assisting Dr. Wessinger in CGTC’s new Biotechnology Classroom and Laboratory on the Macon Campus, which opened during the 2008 fall quarter. She assisted in everything from setting up equipment to performing some early experiments in the new lab, which provides one of the most state-of-the-art science laboratories in Georgia’s Technical College System.
When asked about her future after CGTC, Jara says emphatically, "I want to work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, period." Jara hopes to go into research to help find new cures for cancer. "At this point, I’ll research anything. I just love research."
About Central Georgia Technical College
A comprehensive higher education institution, Central Georgia Technical College provides students more than 190 career program opportunities with numerous degree, diploma and certificate options, in addition to customized business and industry services, continuing education and adult education services. The College serves Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Jones, Monroe, Putnam and Twiggs Counties. More information about CGTC can be found at www.centralgatech.edu.