Seven Local High School Students To Participate in NYITCOM Summer Research Program

JONESBORO, AR – Seven Jonesboro-area high school students have been selected to participate in a summer research program offered by New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University (NYITCOM at A-State). 

Emalee Gillean, Jakayla Scott, Jason Smith and Keona Harris of Nettleton High School along with Abril De La Rosa, Anahi Garcia Valdez, and Madison Russell of Jonesboro High School will enjoy eight weeks of intense laboratory exposure along with career and professional development experiences through NYITCOM’s Summer Health Academy for Research Exploration (SHARE) program.

SHARE, which runs from June 6 to August 5, is designed to increase the students’ chances of navigating the academic pipeline towards a STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine) or professional degree.

“The goal of the SHARE program aligns well with the institutional mission to foster interests in science in young people,” said Troy Camarata, Ph.D., who serves as director of the program in addition to his role as an associate professor at NYITCOM at A-State. “The SHARE program is designed to provide very practical, hands-on learning opportunities that will be extremely beneficial and enjoyable for high school students aspiring toward STEMM careers.”  

The SHARE program is open to Arkansas high school students from backgrounds that are under-represented in the STEMM areas.  Students chosen to participate in SHARE receive a stipend through funding provided by a Project SEED grant from the American Chemical Society.

“There are often financial barriers that keep students from participating in educational and career development programs like SHARE because many students need to get summer jobs ,” Camarata said. “We are grateful to the American Chemical Society for helping eliminate that obstacle by giving these students a chance to earn a little money while enjoying a great experience.” 

SHARE participants are mentored by NYITCOM and Arkansas State University faculty members, and they receive weekly presentations from professionals who work in STEMM fields. The interactive laboratory sessions provide the students with exposure to environmental health, physiology, neuroscience, genetics, computer programing, and clinical laboratory science.

The students also receive career counseling and learn about the college admission process from A-State and NYITCOM staff. Mentors also help the students enter major science competitions, and the mentor relationships continue beyond the conclusion of the summer.

The SHARE program was founded by NYITCOM at A-State assistant dean of research and publications Rajendram Rajnarayanan, Ph.D., in 2019 and is now directed by Camarata with the assistance of Clint Iadanza, Ph.D., assistant director of research education

Featured Photo: Nettleton High School student Noah Beeman listens to NYITCOM at A-State Student Doctor James Donohue demonstrates how to emergently manage a non-breathing patient as NYITCOM at A-State staff member Amber Gibson observes. Beeman participated in NYITCOM at A-State’s SHARE program in 2021.

About NYITCOM at Arkansas State University: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, located on A-State’s Jonesboro campus, is dedicated to improving access to health care for the underserved and rural populations in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta Region. Arkansas annually ranks near the bottom among states in overall population health status due to low health indicators including obesity, hypertension and diabetes. The state also ranks near the bottom of states in the number of active physicians per capita and in the number of primary care physicians. NYITCOM at A-State was established in 2016 with the mission of meeting the need for more physicians in this medically underserved area.

Press Release – NYITCOM at AState



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