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UMB Summer Program Prepares the Next Generation of Health and Research Professionals

May 22, 2019
Author: Allison Robinson

Summer Bioscience Internship Program targets Baltimore City high school students interested in health and research careers.

The University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) Summer Bioscience Internship Program (SBIP) provides paid clinical shadowing experiences and biomedical research exposure to Baltimore City high school students, age 16 and older, through a partnership with the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development YouthWorks summer program

The 2019 SBIP is poised for success with partnerships and generosity of UMB faculty and University of Maryland Medical Center providers: Dr. Laura Buchanan, Dr. Asaf Keller, Dr. Shyam Kottilil, Dr. Mary Anne Melo, Dr. Jason Molitoris, Dr. C. Daniel Mullins, Dr. Paula Rosenblatt, Dr. J.W. Snider, and Dr. Greg Snyder.

This summer, SBIP will welcome eight students from Dunbar’s P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School). P-TECH is a four-year program during which students take classes year-round to earn both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree, and upon completion are provided opportunities for job placement from P-TECH corporate partners.

In addition to P-TECH students, the SBIP program will welcome nine returning from last summer and five new students. Three students — Kiana Carr, Nina Mendez (in photo below), and Sydnie Taylor (in photo below) — two of whom are returning this summer, will graduate this year. Their stories below will highlight how the SBIP program has been an integral part of their formation and preparation.

Carr attended Western High School and matriculated at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she majored in biology. She will graduate this month. Carr spent three summers with the SBIP as an intern in the School of Pharmacy and back-to-back placements at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Her most lasting impression was working in Shock Trauma over a Fourth of July weekend. Her most meaningful opportunity was the chance to visit the cadaver lab. Carr plans to attend Towson University to pursue a master’s degree in health science.

Nina Mendez

Nina Mendez

Mendez attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and matriculated at the University of Chicago, where she double-majored in psychology and creative writing. She is scheduled to graduate in June 2019. Mendez spent three consecutive summers with SBIP.

About her last summer in the program, she wrote, “I returned to work with Dr. Julie Zito, in whose department I had formed meaningful connections with the graduate students. They taught me about their experiences with graduate school and I have considered their experiences as I look into next steps for myself. While there, I learned skills that I use for college reports like conducting thorough literature reviews. I also enjoyed the culminating presentation at the end of the programs, where I got to share all that I learned throughout the summer, as it gave me practice in public speaking.”

Mendez’s future plans include serving as a Teach for America Corps member in Buffalo, N.Y., and obtaining her master's degree in education.

Sydnie Taylor

Sydnie Taylor

Taylor attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and then matriculated at UMBC, where she majored in biological sciences. She will graduate this fall. She spent four summers with the SBIP as an intern in the schools of pharmacy, medicine, and dentistry.

According to Taylor, “After being a part of this internship program, I can honestly say how appreciative I am of SBIP. The amount of support from the coordinators, the amazing opportunities to help you realize your goals, and the network I have built within these four summers has been a valuable part of my college career. This program will always have a special place in my heart.”

Taylor stated that the health science mentorship was the most meaningful opportunity of the SBIP program. Although the tours, presentations, and trainings (for example, Stop the Bleed) were also valuable parts of the experience, her most favorite tour was of the office of the chief medical examiner.

Taylor wrote in an email to SBIP program co-directors Allison Robinson and Brian Sturdivant, “You all have been such an integral part of my college career, and I just hope you know how much I appreciate you both! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Taylor will be applying to the School of Dentistry for the fall of 2020.

This year’s SBIP program runs July 1 to Aug. 2. The first week is orientation and includes training on environmental health and safety, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, job readiness, and Stop the Bleed. In addition, students will tour UMB’s first-class research and teaching facilities, including the School of Nursing’s Standardized Patient Program and Simulation Lab and the University of Maryland’s MASTRI (Maryland Advanced Simulation, Training, Research and Innovation) Center.

SBIP is supported by the UMB Office of the President, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, and the Maryland Area Health Education Center Program.