RIO GRANDE — The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College strive to provide students with work place experience before graduation by encouraging students to apply for internship programs.
This past summer, senior Halley Alberts, a double major in biology and chemistry, was one of 10 students from around the country selected to participate in Ohio State’s Medical Scientist Training Program’s SUCCESS program alongside students from other universities such as Duke, Vanderbilt, Purdue and Ohio State.
Alberts said she was excited for the opportunity.
“This program is designed to help prepare students for a career as a physician scientist, so I was able to work at a research lab at Ohio State over the summer,” she said. “It was very intensive and gave us some professional development courses to help prepare us for working in the field. I had the opportunity to shadow a general surgeon and volunteer at the hospital. It was a great experience to network with the employees.”
Dr. John Means, associate professor of chemistry, said he was excited to hear Halley had been accepted to the program and that she was able to play an important role in its research.
“We are incredibly proud of what Halley was able to do at this program,” he said. “I spoke with her principal investigator, and he said she was prepared for the research and lab work. I think she is a great example of what our students are able to accomplish at Rio.”
Alberts said the research program focused on the persistence of bacteria causing typhoid fever and the environments which allow it to survive in areas of the body such as the gallbladder. She also said she enjoyed getting to work with students from other universities around the country.
“A lot of the students were from large universities, so I was honored to represent Rio and show we can keep up with all of these big-name schools in the field,” she said. “The fact that I was accepted into the program is a huge testament of what Rio has done for me. All of my research projects before this were conducted through Rio, and I feel my professors have prepared me to keep up in the program.”
Alberts said she wants to encourage her classmates to take similar opportunities during their time at Rio.
“I think it’s really important to apply for programs like this because you can get additional real-world experience to add to your resume and network with people in your intended field,” she said. “Rio has definitely prepared us for these opportunities, and anyone who gets the chance to do something like this should go for it.”
Alberts is the daughter of Jay and Tonya McGuire of Crown City.
Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist with the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College.