A guiding principle for engaging and mentoring Beckman Scholars in the Hefty lab is to challenge each student with a clear and significantscientific hypothesis. These questions are related to the basic biology and pathogenesis of the unique and medically important bacteria, Chlamydia. These obligate intracellular bacteria comprise a separate phylum with distinct biological characteristics, and we study aspects of their cell division, gene regulation, metabolic processes, and host cell manipulation. As such, my students are broadly trained and exposed to techniques and theory in biochemistry, cell biology, and microbiology. By charging the student with addressing a specific hypothesis, they quickly begin to 'own' the project and are empowered to accomplish this goal. In order to facilitate their ability to address the scientific question, they are initially paired with a graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, or technician to acquire and develop technical proficiency. I also outline specific technical goals and experimental timelines to facilitate progress and discuss their experiences weekly (one-on-one and lab meetings). Students attend and present their science at local, regional, and national meetings to learn how to effectively communicate their research and learn more about science and professional opportunities. Their projects are expected to be included in research publications, and they will assist in all aspects of manuscript development.