Last week, we were thrilled to host Connecticut 5th District’s Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty and give her a tour of our department and show her the work we do in the tickborne disease prevention lab. We wanted to show her first-hand how federal funding is helping us do big research at a relatively small institution, and how hands-on research opportunities for undergraduates have a big impact on student learning. We love that Congresswoman Esty has been a strong supporter of science and was so interested in hearing what our student interns had to say. She held one of our lab pets (a hissing cockroach) and got to meet our lab mascot, “Tick-Check Barbie,” too. It’s pretty amazing how quickly one can tidy up the lab when company is coming!