Angelina Jaeger stands in front of a vine covered wall.

Gaining a global research perspective

November 30, 2022
Author: Rachel Stern

Angelina Jaeger snags spot in prestigious summer research internship program

Angelina Jaeger expanded her research horizons for three months in Germany after earning a spot in a prestigious summer internship program.

She received a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) scholarship. Angelina is the first Vancouver Island University undergraduate student to receive this scholarship and competed with students from North American, British and Irish universities. Only 320 scholarships were awarded.

“I was shocked and happy. Excited,” says Angelina about receiving the scholarship, adding that it was a big step for her to go study overseas. “Living alone internationally was an intimidating step in my life. I’m pretty happy with myself. I know I’m capable and I showed that while I was there.”

Angelina, who is completing her Bachelor of Science, majoring in Chemistry, worked under the supervision of PhD student Anika Rogoll at Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, in Freiberg, Germany. She assisted in Anika’s trace elemental analysis study that sought to develop new calibration materials for measuring metals in soft samples like tissue. The aim was to have a material with a similar texture and properties to human tissue, and for it to be easy to make and use. This material could then be used in the medical field for measuring the amount of metal that may transfer from a medical metal implant into someone’s tissue. To test the materials, she used Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, which is a technology that allows scientists to perform elemental analysis on solid samples.

“I am very happy about the opportunity to include Angelina as an intern in my research this summer,” says Anika. “We did some interesting experiments and obtained good results, which I presented as a poster on an international conference a few weeks later. Angelina was a co-author of this poster.”

During her downtime in Germany, Angelina explored the country with friends.

“I made some good friends with other interns and people at the university, we did dinners and trips weekly which created great memories,” says Angelina. “I’ve visited Germany a couple of times because my family’s from there. It was a good opportunity to work on my language skills and be immersed in the culture.”

Angelina grew up in Nanaimo and had an older sibling attend VIU. She says it just “felt natural to come here.”

Angelina says that because of VIU’s small class sizes she feels like she’s gotten more out of them and didn’t get lost in a sea of students. She got to know her professors and had the opportunity to do undergraduate research in VIU’s Applied Environmental Research Laboratories (AERL).

“I probably would never have gotten that at another university,” says Angelina about the opportunity to conduct research in the AERL. “It was helped by the small class sizes and the professors being able to see the students with interest and potential. 

At the AERL she worked with Joseph Monaghan, who is completing his PhD candidate research at VIU. Joseph is researching more efficient ways to measure the chemical compound 6-PPD quinone in water samples using mass spectrometry. The compound is a degradation product of 6-PPD, which is applied to tires to stop degradation and cracking due to ozone exposure. It is highly toxic to salmon and gets released into the environment after big rain events, which washes it into storm drains and streams. 

Angelina says it was interesting to see the real-world application of things she had been learning in class. And conducting undergraduate research helped her decide to pursue a master’s degree in chemistry, which she hopes to start next year.

Angelina says it was a great experience working at the AERL and the RISE scholarship she completed this summer allowed her to gain a global research perspective.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work in the AERL here, so that was great experience for me, but it was also interesting to get more of a global perspective,” said Angelina.

Related Posts

Got an article idea for the blog? Email

Sign up for our blog