This summer I was offered two internships, one at the New England Zoo as an animal care intern and the other to the ORIP program at the OARDC. I am hoping to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, so either of these internships would have been wonderful, however I realized that I would be working one-on-one with some of the OSU veterinary school faculty -- a school I am now applied to -- at the OARDC. It also had a stipend and the opportunity to live on campus with my friends all summer long, so I took it.My specific project was beginning the process of writing a systematic review on the effect of climate change on the transmission of food- and waterborne zoonotic infectious pathogens. Along with priming my skills at reading and interpreting scientific articles and becoming an expert of online databases, we hope to publish this systematic review in the next year in a scientific journal. Along with this publication, I am now presenting this research at the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases this December in Chicago alongside graduate students and veterinarians from around the world! This summer I also loved being able to help other graduate students and post-docs with their experiments, from plating E. coli water samples to planting hundreds of vegetables in seemingly endless plots of land outside. This experience allowed me to really see what graduate school entails, see a completely different side of veterinary science than the normal clinical work I was used to, as well as meet some wonderful people. Although I missed my chance to work with zoo animals for this summer, I don't regret my decision in the slightest!
During my first internship at the Philadelphia Center, I attended two seminars and was pre-placed into two internships. The seminars were Abnormal psychology and Constructions of race in America. Studying at the Philadelphia center gave me the opportunity to explore interesting classes outside of my biology major. The classes meet once a week and transferred as two Wooster credits. In terms of my internships, the first was at The University of Pennsylvania in the Pathology Department and the second was at the VCA Cat Hospital of Philadelphia. These internships have helped me to learn a plethora of things about veterinary school, the veterinary profession, disease, animals, and myself. At the Cat Hospital, I was able to see and help with multiple surgeries, hospitalization, and treatments. They integrated me into the hustle and bustle of the business and I was not regarded as “just the intern”.
My second internship at the University of Pennsylvania complimented my experience at the Cat Hospital. In the Pathology Department, I was able to observe and help with necropsies of cats, dogs, raccoons and horses. For clarification, a necropsy is similar to an autopsy in which doctors examine the body to determine the cause of death. While in the pathology department, I was also able to attend lectures for veterinary students, gross rounds (a type of lab for vet students), consultations, and shadow the animal behavior program. Interning at the University of Pennsylvania has taught me so much about the path to vet school, the career opportunities for specialized vets, and the endless amount of possibilities for me. Georgia Institute of Technology: Aquatic Chemical Ecology-Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)At GA Tech, I was able to experience the life of a graduate student as I designed my own research project, conducted the experiment, and presented the results at a symposium. My research question was: Does Phylogenetic Diversity Affect Temporal Stability of Ecological Communities? During the research process, I collaborated with the graduate students within the lab. I was able to learn a variety of laboratory techniques and the basic etiquette of working in a lab with other students and projects involved. This program opened my eyes to the variety of research opportunities that are available within my career field of interest.
I did my summer work at the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus in in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. To be honest, I got extremely lucky finding the position, I was basically streaming various the number of webpages for different hospitals and colleges that offer summer research positions and I found around three labs that I was interested in at the Cleveland Clinic. I proceeded to email the doctors in charge of the labs and was lucky enough to get this position with Dr. Jim Finke. I ended up getting paid 9.00$ per hour and I would work around 40-50 hours a week depending on the amount of work in that given week. The people in the lab were/are incredible; they helped me come up with my IS research in conjunction with what they wanted to be accomplished in there lab. I honestly was quite independent, they would teach me the procedures for a giving experiment, and I would take detailed notes and write them up for my materials section in my IS. From there I was able to perform the lab experiment. Dr. Finke and his staff were amazing, any questions I had they were there to help me, I just wanted to be as independent as I could so I did not turn into a burden. I did not note, however, many other undergrads in similar positions, but I feel all should look for an experience like this. Reasons why: I am 10x more comfortable in a lab after this experience, I am able to put a world-renowned hospital on my resume, I was paid to do my IS research, I have a smaller work-load during the school year now (I wrote 36 pages of my IS during the summer), I have incredible sources there (to get jobs/ reference letters), I have another person to look at my IS (edit/ comment), and I will be getting published in a scientific paper because of this research.
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has selected Samuel Kitara from College of Wooster as a 2012 award recipient of the ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship. This fellowship is aimed at highly competitive students who wish to pursue graduate careers (Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.) in microbiology. Fellows have the opportunity to conduct full time summer research at their institution with an ASM mentor and present their research results at the 113th ASM General Meeting in Denver, CO if their abstract is accepted.
Each fellow receives up to a $4,000 stipend, a two-year ASM student membership, and funding for travel expenses to the ASM Presentation Institute and 113th ASM General Meeting. This year, one hundred twenty-two applications were received and fifty-six were awarded. Of the fifty-six awardees, thirty-four students were from doctoral/research universities, five students was from doctoral/research universities, seven students were from a master’s college and university institutions, eight were from baccalaureate colleges, one student from a comprehensive master’s II institution, and one student from a specialized institution Among the fifty-six awardees, eight additional students were recognized as Honorable Mentions.
Dr. Stephanie Strand from College of Wooster is Samuel Kitara’s mentor. The title of the research project is: An investigation of Pseudomonas Chlororaphis virulence in the presence and absence of phenazine production. The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), headquartered in Washington, DC, is the oldest and largest single biological membership organization, with over 40,000 members worldwide.
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