Written by Danielle Couture
Willimantic, Conn: -- Eastern Connecticut State University will serve as host to a six- week summer health and life sciences research program involving six other Connecticut colleges. The Health and Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Program Initiative runs from June 2-July 12, and will give students an opportunity to gain vital knowledge and experience with basic laboratory skills, while exposing participants to job opportunities that will position them competitively in Connecticut's health and life sciences job market.
The summer research program is a result of a three-year Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Careers Training grant (TAACCCT) from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.
Participating colleges include Norwalk Community College, Gateway Community College, Capital Community College, Middlesex Community College, Manchester Community College and Charter Oak College.
"This is the biggest thing we have ever done in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for any summer research program at Eastern, and it's right in line with the State of Connecticut's interest in workforce development in the health and life sciences," said Carmen Cid, dean of Eastern's School of Arts and Sciences.
"We are excited to offer such a great opportunity to undergraduate students in the health and life sciences fields," said Star Jackson, Eastern's curriculum and program coordinator for health and life sciences grants. "Not only will students get hands-on research experience, but they will also be given many opportunities for personal, career and academic development. This will be an innovative learning experience that students are sure to remember."
Students will work directly with Eastern faculty who teach and work in the modern life science fields, including biochemistry, organic chemistry, biotechnology, biology, health education and environmental earth sciences. Each week will focus on an area of modern scientific inquiry, allowing students to gain scientific skills and knowledge. Specific areas of study include critical scientific skills and basic concepts of investigation; molecular identification of nervous system progenitors; and physical activity epidemiology and health, to name a few.
Students will also get training on how to develop a resume; be involved in mock job interviews; visit Connecticut health and life sciences industry and graduate school facilities; and interact with graduate and medical school students in the state to learn how to prepare for a job within these fields.