CGS Hosts Gifted High School Students Pursuing Science Careers
"Visiting Jefferson labs and interacting with scientists and researchers
is great exposure for students to learn firsthand how scientific research
is conducted and how closely it relates to their everyday life," says
Ziwei Huang, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology
and head of the Rational Drug Design Program at the Kimmel Cancer Institute.
For the fourth consecutive summer, the College of Graduate Studies (CGS)
made this close-up look at the scientific world possible for high school
students in Villanova University's Young Scholars Summer Program. This year,
40 students from East Coast high schools were selected from among 1050 applicants,
in addition to one student from Bosnia. The program, sponsored by the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), encourages students to pursue careers in
math, science and medical research.
"Their questions are amazing," exclaimed Jessie Pervall, director
of admissions for the College of Graduate Studies (CGS) and coordinator
of the day's events, about the visiting students, grades 10 to 12. "They're
very vibrant and responsive." Throughout the day, students chaperoned
by Villanova student counselors and CGS student hosts attended presentations
by faculty, visited research laboratories and toured the campus.
David Abraham, PhD, associate professor of microbiology/ immunobiology,
delivered a talk on "Vaccine Development Against Diseases of the Tropics."
"It made me want to go into that field," said Nicole Price, a
Philadelphia 10th grader from Girls High who had been thinking of pediatrics.
''Those slides really kept us all awake!" another student piped in.
Gerald Grunwald, PhD, professor of pathology, anatomy and cell biology,
discussed the topic, "Medical Ethics and Research." Hie-Won L.
Hann, MD, professor of medicine, gave a presentation and demonstration on
"Clinical Application of Medical Research."
Breaking into three smaller groups, the students also visited the laboratories
of Bruno Calabretta, MD, professor of microbiology/immunology, Kimmel Cancer
Institute; Dr. Huang; and Joannes B. Hoek, PhD, professor of pathology,
anatomy and cell biology. At the conclusion of the visit, Professor William
M. Fleishman, PhD, director of the Villanova-HHMI Summer Program, expressed
appreciation for the CGS-hosted event by presenting tee-shirts to Ms. Pervall,
faculty presenters and student hosts.