Summer Research Program Circles Back After Pandemic

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

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Annual Mentoring Experience Resumes In-Person
veterinary scholars and some faculty members along with some pets gather for a group photo while wearing masks outside against a lush green backdrop of the park
Veterinary and undergraduate students participating in the Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program gathered with faculty mentors for a picnic with appropriate safeguards to kick-off the 2021 program at Happy Hollow Park near the Purdue campus.

Research and summer went hand-in-hand for 16 students in Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program, which kicked-off May 19 with a summer picnic at Happy Hollow Park in West Lafayette, just a couple of miles from the College of Veterinary Medicine. The event that traditionally marks the start of the summer program was carefully planned with proper precautions to protect everyone’s health and safety.

Keely balances on the unicycle with her arms stretched out
The summer scholars enjoyed visiting with one another and with faculty mentors in the beautiful park setting, and one of them, Purdue undergraduate student Keely Harris, even demonstrated how to ride a unicycle!

Designed to increase the number of veterinarians involved in biomedical and clinical research, the Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program provides veterinary students, as well as undergraduate students interested in veterinary medicine, an opportunity to explore non-practice careers by engaging in a mentored research project through informal and formal interactions with scientists. Dr. Harm HogenEsch, Purdue Veterinary Medicine associate dean for research and Distinguished Professor of Immunopathology, and Dr. Eli Asem, professor of physiology in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, organize the program by matching students and faculty.

The program was reduced in size and entirely virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic. In 2021, the program started up again with in-person lab work and mentoring, as well as some virtual components that replaced traditional in-person activities. Among the changes were virtual research poster presentations instead of the customary in-person research poster session typically held in Lynn Hall at the end of July, and a virtual national symposium instead of the in-person event that normally concludes the program for summer research scholars at veterinary colleges across the country at the beginning of August.

The Summer Research Program is 11 weeks long. A total of nine Purdue veterinary students participated in 2021 along with seven undergraduate students. Five of the undergraduate students were from Purdue and the other two were from Bethany College and Tougaloo College.

Writer(s): PVM News |

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