Lindsay Colgan

International Experience Country:
New Zealand
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Oakland

Heinz Programming Area:
Lindsay Colgan is a junior biological sciences major at the University of Pittsburgh with minors in both chemistry and secondary education. In addition, she is a research assistant in the biology department's disease ecology lab, helping further our understanding of the environment's impact on parasitism using guppies. Lindsay is considering careers in secondary science education or pursuing a graduate degree in the field of biological research. In her free time, she partakes in outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and camping. Born in Philadelphia, Lindsay moved to the town of West Grove where she grew up as the oldest of three. Before COVID, she worked as a swim instructor, sharing her love of water with the Pittsburgh community which led to her current position as co-president of the Panther Swim Club. She is excited to continue her pursuit of biology, expand her horizons, and better understand the complexity of the scientific field. 
International Experience Summary:


Lindsay Colgan had the opportunity to intern virtually with a marine biology lab at Massey University in New Zealand. Through this program she gained exposure in managing large data sets for labs, completing literature reviews, and communicating findings with fellow lab members. Exploring the incident reports for the endemic dolphin species of New Zealand helped Lindsay to understand the human impact on marine wildlife mortality. Specifically, the lab focused its work on the disease toxoplasmosis and the transmission to dolphins. Even in a virtual setting, she was able to learn about and contribute to the impact of this research lab’s work from thousands of miles away.

A career development component to the virtual internship focused on networking and building a self-brand. While learning about a new culture, Lindsay was also exposed to career exploration and skills necessary for future employment. Along with the virtual research lab experience, she participated in cultural debriefs to discuss cultural findings while expanding upon new aspects. Through the meetings, Lindsay became familiar with the large indigenous presence in New Zealand and their focus on community traditions, including large feasts called Hakari. With a focus on sustainability, she was introduced to the idea of being a Kaitaki, or environmental steward. The Maori have a strong connection to the land, sky, and sea which roots their values in conservation. As a country with many endemic species, biodiversity sustainability is of high importance. By being able to assist with analyses of human interactions and wildlife, Lindsay developed key lab skills which will assist her in future research positions.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Cross-Cultural Cooking Class  

The Oakland Viras of the 2021 cohort held a virtual cooking class to connect cultural recipes to the local community. Our Cross-Cultural Cooking Class combined both dinner meals and desserts from New Zealand, Iceland, China, Spain, South Africa, and Germany. We presented our recipes during the event, teaching the audience about the significance of each dish in that country’s culture. Two dishes, the Cape Malay Potato Fritter (South Africa) and Hokey Pokey (New Zealand) were demonstrated during the virtual event with audience participation. Our team chose to host a cooking class for the Oakland community to foster cooking enjoyment and skills for college-aged students. Audience members enjoyed learning to cook a dish designed for cultures with fewer resources and unreliable power structures. They also witnessed a fun science experiment through our family-friendly dessert. Included with the cooking component were cultural presentations from each team member on their host country and the significance surrounding their recipes. If you are interested in trying a dish from any of these countries or would like to learn about the significance of these recipes, feel free to reference our recipe book!