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Summer Jobs into Permanent Posts
NIH Seizes Opportunity To Boost Minority Employment

NIH often is so pleased with the work of its summer employees from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), and Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS) that many are offered repeat internships, fellowships and permanent staff positions.

Cyrus Salazar

Such was the experience this past summer of Cyrus Salazar, who recently received a master's of public administration degree from New Mexico State University. He has accepted a position with NIAMS as a human resources specialist, under the supervision of Christine Steyer.

Sara Rosario, a communications major who graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, came on board as a writer-editor in the Public Information and Liaison Branch of NIDA, under the supervision of Jan Lipkin. In addition, Nicole Banner, a master's student in information resource management at Central Michigan University, has accepted a 1-year fellowship with the Office of Diversity and Employment Programs, NCI. Banner will render administrative support in the area of database design in support of diversity initiatives, under the direction of Christina Bruce. Graduate student Christopher Armijo, who is studying public health at the University of Colorado, has been offered a 1-year Cancer Research Training Award by the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.

Sara Rosario

Numerous other overtures related to current or future employment have been proffered for the consideration of interns once their academic preparation has been completed.

From previous classes, Bernadette Estrada, a communications and political science major from San Antonio College, is completing a one-year CRTA fellowship in the Office of the Director, NCI; Yalitza Moris-Orengo, a biotechnology major from the University of Puerto Rico, is beginning the second year of an IRTA fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Trent, NHGRI. Surgey Melendez-Droz, a secretarial science major from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, accepted a permanent position as an administrative technician at NHLBI.

This past summer, the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities coordinated the placement of 44 summer interns who were recruited by HACU, NAFEO and WINS. Interns were residents of states across the country and were engaged in various courses of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. As an adjunct to their professional experience here at NIH, enrichment activities were organized by NCMHD. These included a role model/mentoring session with Latino, American Indian and African American NIH staffers and a multicultural brown bag session during which interns exchanged views on cultural perceptions and traditions and demonstrated salsa dance steps.

Interns also enjoyed career development workshops led by Brian Easley of the Work and Family Life Center and participated in tours of the Clinical Center and the National Library of Medicine.

Joshua Torres-Cruz, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in biochemistry, presents his work on the wild-type allele in MEN2-associated pheochromocytomas.

Two particularly noteworthy students this summer were Joshua Torres-Cruz, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in biochemistry, and Alicia Permell, a junior at Fayetteville State University majoring in computer science. Torres-Cruz received an Exceptional Summer Student Award from NINDS and was selected to present his work on the wild-type allele in MEN2-associated pheochromocytomas at the ceremony. He worked in the NINDS laboratory of Dr. Steve Huang and has been offered the opportunity to continue working in the laboratory during the year.

Alicia Permell

Permell received commendations during a presentation to the NIMH executive board of the Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science (NBBS) for her development of a program to capture and analyze NIH funding information for NIMH's Mentored Research Career Development Awardees over the last 10 years. She worked in NBBS's Training and Career Development Office under the guidance of Drs. Walter Goldschmidts and Mark Chavez.

Nearly all ICs participate in the internship program by identifying appropriate positions and funding to bring the students to NIH. Approximately $9,000 per student covers administrative costs of the sponsoring organization and includes round-trip airfare and stipends for the interns. Housing, which can a stumbling block for non-local students who want to come to NIH, is also arranged. For more information contact Dr. Lorrita Watson, 594-7784.

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