While today is National Intern Day, we would be remiss not to recognize the hard work of other Hope students who are participating in non-internship experiential learning opportunities, such as those who are a part of SHARP this summer. The Summer Hope Academic Research Program is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn while getting hands-on experience in their academic field. 

Olivia Jackson and Madeline Heter

Assistant Researchers on MMMI Accuracy of Test Weights Study

Madeline and Olivia are both working on the Mothers Milk for Michigan Infants Accuracy of Test Weights Study. Olivia states that she feels that the biggest thing she is getting out of her experience is improving her communication skills with participants which will help her when she communicates with patients in the future. Planning and scheduling have been quite important for her. 

Madeline elaborates more on how this opportunity is “ preparing me for nursing work experience by learning how to interact with patients and how to utilize the nursing role of education. I have learned how to teach moms about their breastmilk through my human milk analysis project. The milk analyses that I conduct measure the specific gravity, creamatocrit, fat, and calorie content of the milk samples. I would advise students to get to know other student researchers and professors in order to become more involved in the Hope College research community.”

Evan Thomas and Hannah Gray

Assistant Researchers on Study on Neurogenesis in Zebrafish

Hannah and Evan are working in the Biology department this summer studying Neurogenesis in Zebrafish. Hannah talks about how this experience is preparing her for the future, saying “We are using many techniques in order to determine how the zebrafish brain regenerates. This research experience is helping me decide on which career path I would like to go down. Make sure to get involved and apply for as many internships or research positions as possible, because there’s nothing like having a hands-on experience.” 

Evan’s thoughts bounce off of Hannah’s statements nicely, “This research is preparing me for work experience by allowing me to get valuable hours working in the lab while also exposing me to new areas of biology that I haven’t explored. It is nice waking up and being excited to go every day, and finding something that you’re interested in will make the experience a lot more fulfilling and enjoyable.”

Yeageon Song

Assistant Researcher on Biomechanics of Patient-Handling Activities

“I am doing Summer Research with the engineering department at my college. The project I am working on is called the Biomechanics of Patient-Handling tasks. 30 to 60 percent of the nursing personnel in the USA suffer from some sort of lower back pain. This is caused by stress on the lower back during manual patient handling tasks. In our group, we are validating the use of a computational simulation model in estimating this stress on the lower back of the caregivers during these tasks. I am planning to go into the Biomedical Engineering field after college. This research has given me valuable insight and experience on what it means to work as a biomedical engineer. The most surprising thing I learnt in my research site is that nothing (barely!) is figured out and done straight away. Behind the results shown by the research are countless hours of troubleshooting and revisiting past works. The results reported only show a small proportion of the researchers’ hard work.”

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