Summer Interns Share Their Research at Poster Day
“There was a tremendous amount of positive energy. Students were excited to share what they did,” said OITE director Dr. Sharon Milgram. “The NIH scientists who came were engaged with the interns and the large amount of family members, teachers and supporters from outside NIH added a specialness to the day.”
More than 1,000 students presented during 4 2-hour sessions throughout the event. They explained their research to their peers and other members of the NIH community.
One of the presenters was Calandra Whitted, a doctoral student at Florida A&M University. She took part in the Graduate Summer Opportunity to Advance Research (G-SOAR) Program that started as a partnership between OITE and the chief officer for scientific workforce diversity.
Whitted interned with NHGRI. She helped develop a family health education program to support collecting and sharing family health history in African-American communities. The program will be piloted at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center this fall. If all goes according to plan, she will then use the program in rural Florida.
The final session of the day featured students enrolled in the High School Scientific Training and Enrichment Program. Its goal is to expand the pipeline of students interested in biomedical and health care careers by providing opportunities for high school students from schools with a large population of financially disadvantaged students.
Participants were encouraged to present even if they didn’t have final results. The purpose of poster day, explained Milgram, is to develop writing, problem-solving and oral communication skills.
“Scientists do research and then they communicate about it when it’s successful and when it’s not as successful,” she said. “We want students to begin developing those skills at the beginning of their careers.”