Spotlight #7: Estee Sieben: Kombuceha Knowledge, Preferences, and Consumption Habits in College Students - Advisor: Dr. Emily Heying

I have been brewing Kombucha for years and am very interested in the different variables involved in its production. When making a home-brew, it is rare to get consistent results from batch to batch. This project allowed me to learn a bit more about the ideal conditions for Kombucha production, as well as consumption habits and knowledge in college students.

Live Courageously. I think a lot of courage is required to do research in general, especially when doing an individual project. Of course, your project means something to you, but who is to say that others will be interested in participating or learning about your results? That thought can be scary. My project involves a food product that would not be considered “mainstream”, and I was concerned about how my others would react to it. Doing this project helped me to muster up the courage to share something that I love with others by asking for participants in my sensory evaluation. I ended up having plenty of students get involved, many of whom expressed their interest and excitement about the study. I also had staff members in the nutrition department get involved, and I made relationships with them that I would not have if I didn’t decide to do undergraduate research. This project helped me practice being strong and courageous by sharing what I am passionate about with others.

Be confident. Jumping into research can be a little bit intimidating, but know that there are so many resources out there and people that want to help you. Doing undergraduate research is such a great opportunity to learn in a way that you likely haven’t before. Seize that opportunity and see the ways in which you learn and grow from it.

What else are you involved in on campus?

Health Advocate, CSB Certified Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor.