Hello everyone!

My name is Jessica Navarro and I am a first-generation student at Illinois Wesleyan University studying Biology. This summer I will be traveling to Los Baños, Philippines. As an intern at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), I hope to learn about the role of biotechnology in global food accessibility and in particular the production of nutritious and affordable rice strains. 

Currently, I am preparing for this adventure by educating myself on Filipino culture, language, and history. I am also in the process of finalizing a VISA application. 

Looking towards the summer, I am immensely excited to learn about the several methods and techniques utilized at IRRI. Furthermore, I am thrilled to try traditional Filipino dishes and explore the Los Baños area! A couple of goals I have for my time in the Philippines include: practicing Tagalog in a social setting each day, coming prepared to the laboratory, and asking questions. 

I will be updating this blog every week starting in June! So, keep a lookout for more posts!