Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program Resumes in Person After Pandemic

Friday, June 11, 2021

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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 this year’s program at Happy Hollow Park.

Research and summer go hand-in-hand for 16 students in Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program.  Designed to increase the number of veterinarians involved in biomedical and clinical research, the program kicked-off this year with a summer picnic at Happy Hollow Park May 19. The event 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 in the beautiful park setting, and one of them, Purdue undergraduate student Keely Harris, even demonstrated how to ride a unicycle!

The Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program provides an opportunity for veterinary students as well as undergraduate students interested in veterinary medicine 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 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 last year due to the pandemic.  This year the program started up again with in-person lab work and mentoring, as well as some virtual components that are replacing traditional in-person activities.  Among the changes will be virtual research poster presentations instead of the traditional in-person research poster session that typically would be held in Lynn Hall at the end of July, and a virtual national symposium instead of the in-person event that normally would conclude the program for summer research scholars at veterinary colleges across the country at the beginning of August.  The picnic for Purdue summer research scholars and their mentors, a favorite activity that is scheduled at the beginning of the summer, was held as an in-person event, with appropriate safeguards, so all of the participants could meet each other and enjoy visiting in the beautiful setting of West Lafayette’s Happy Hollow Park. 

The Summer Research Program runs for 11 weeks.  This year, nine Purdue veterinary students are participating along with seven undergraduate students.  Five of the undergraduate students are from Purdue and the other two are from Bethany College and Tougaloo College.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

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