Cassady Hossenlopp: Overseas Adventurer
March 05, 2012
A junior biology major, Hossenlopp was born into an Army family at Fort Sill, Okla., and also lived in Alaska, Kansas and Washington, D.C., before landing at Fort Hood in Central Texas, graduating from Harker Heights High School and heading to ASU. She has also visited Greece, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Ireland and Bermuda on school trips and family vacations.
It was while living in Washington, D.C., that Hossenlopp’s mom, who was in medical sales, introduced her to Col. Robert Bowden, commander of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Bowden later relocated to the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) in Bangkok, Thailand, and in 2011 contacted Hossenlopp about a potential summer internship.
“I would never have been able to do my Thailand internship without the Honors Program.”
“The first person I went to was Dr. Shirley Eoff because the Honors Program is really good about funding internships,” Hossenlopp said. “I had to submit a proposal and a budget, and she said the Honors Program could help with funding.”
“She also told me I should contact our Center for International Studies, so I did,” she continued. “They also chipped in, so I basically had my trip totally paid for, and I was there for eight weeks.”
The first month of the internship was spent training in the AFRIMS Virology Department laboratories.
“They took me around their lab and trained me in their procedures and how to work with their equipment,” Hossenlopp said. “The second month, my advisor told me I could help with a research project on the dengue virus they have been working on for about 11 years. After that, I just went to the lab with the rest of the technicians and jumped in there with them.”
Since she was working for college credit, Hossenlopp’s advisor then had her present the results of their research to the entire Virology Department.
“I was really nervous,” Hossenlopp said, “but she taught me all about the research they had done previously, and helped me to organize the results I had gotten from my experiments and analyze it all. My last day of work, I got up in front of the department and gave about a 20-minute presentation.”
Though she basically worked fulltime at the lab, Hossenlopp did have some recreational time, and particularly enjoyed the shopping.
“In Bangkok, there are vendors outside along the streets selling stuff everywhere,” Hossenlopp said. “So, I would walk home, and at the end of that two-mile walk, I would have three bags of gifts. I also went to some of the big markets.”
“I also took Thai lessons to help me get around,” she continued. “I got to be really good friends with a Thai intern, Wiw Wanaree, who was my age, and we taught each other English and Thai. We went to the movies and shopping together, and she took me sightseeing, which was great because she took me some places where tourists don’t normally get to go.”
Other activities included visiting an elephant rescue camp and watching Ultimate Frisbee tournaments with other lab workers on the beach, in the northern rain forest area and on other islands. Hossenlopp also visited Wanaree’s college, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology in Ladkrabang.
Now back home at ASU, Hossenlopp hopes to present her research at several national conventions. She will also remain busy with the Honors Student Association and Beta Beta Beta biology national honor society, and as a board member of Healthy Families San Angelo. Her top priority, though, will be completing the Honors Program.
“The Honors Program is one of the main reasons I came to ASU,” Hossenlopp said,“and I’ve learned so much from it. I would never have been able to do my Thailand internship without the Honors Program. The Honors classes have really prepared me, and now I’m going to get to go to various conferences. I’ve also met some of my best friends through the Honors Program. I really love the Honors Program.”
Scheduled to graduate in spring of 2013, Hossenlopp hopes to attend medical school and then pursue a career in pediatrics or intensive care.