It’s not just counting pills

Scots Science Scholars kicked off spring semester listening to Lisa Hayes, Maryville College class of 2010 who came to talk about opportunities in pharmacy.  Lisa was a  chemistry major at MC and is currently  in her last year of pharmacy school at the University of Tennessee. She had lots of great advice and experiences to share.

lisa hayes

Lisa Hayes advises Caitlin Jennings, Class of 2016, after the presentation.

MC now has a Biopharmaceutical Sciences major that is a fast track to pharmacy school and a PharmD degree.  However, Lisa came to MC bplanning to be a chemistry teacher, a career she tried for a brief time and realized was not for her.  That prompted an application to pharmacy school, where she has found her calling.

Lisa emphasized to students that there are a wide variety of opportunities in pharmacy, but all of them involve being part of a healthcare team that helps patients. While some pharmacists never have to deal directly with patients, others make that their day-t0-day, and still others are needed to make quick decisions in emergency roon situations. In the end, all pharmacists are depended upon to make sure a patient takes the right medicines in the right dosages while avoiding negative drug interactions, a very important part of the healthcare puzzle.

When asked for advice, Lisa counseled students to get experience in a pharmacy even before starting pharmacy school.  She also advised them to use their time at MC to recognize any possible weaknesses and work on those. For example,  in her time at MC Lisa was a peer mentor. She credited that experience with helping her learn important people skills that she didn’t feel were her strong suit at the time.  She suggested the students should all do some self assessment and then take on opportunities at MC that help them become stronger.

Events like these are part of Scots Science Scholars and contribute to the campus culture created by MC Works, giving students a window into life post MC.   Follow Scots Science Scholars on Facebook to be notified of upcoming events.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What I did last summer (2015) – part 1

 

A full house to hear student presentations.

A full house to hear student presentations.

On of the highlights of our S3 programming during the academic year is hearing from students who have held research or internship positions in the summer. These events give our Scots Science Scholars and other students a window into the kinds of opportunities there are for STEM students as well as the kind of work being done by STEM professionals.

Yesterday began the 2015-16 year with  presentations by three computer science majors, Tanner Curren, Matt Jenkins and Nabil Ahlhauser and senior biochemistry major  Winode Handagama.  Tanner and Winode worked in traditional STEM research groups will Matt and Nabil worked in an industry setting.

Tanner Curren explains open DIEL

Tanner Curren explains open DIEL

Tanner was part of  a parallel computing project at the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences, housed at Oak Ridge National Labs.  This is the home of the world second-fastest supercomputer and where computational work is done for many disciplines including physics, biology, and chemistry.  Specifically, Tanner’s work built on the work of another Maryville College student, Jason Coan.  Both students worked on a framework for practitioners to be able to make use of supercomputing power without needing to know how to program the supercomputer.  Tanner encouraged current students to pursue these kinds of opportunities as a way to grow in knowledge of your field and as a way to begin creating a network of professionals you can work with in the future.

Winode gives the students sound professional advice.

Winode gives the students sound professional advice.

Winode Handagama also worked in research, but in a more traditional laboratory in the Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  The lab is working towards a way to alter the DNA in STEM cells so that they will bioluminesce.  This will allow doctors to track STEM cells when they are using them to treat people with a variety of diseases.  As a more experienced student with three summer research positions under his belt, Winode had some important words of advice to our students.  He encouraged them to practice important professional skills like writing professional e-mails and learning the application process.    Over time, he has come to realize that applying for a position is more than just sharing information with potential employers:  it is a skill in itself that students need to begin to hone.  He also encouraged students not to be afraid to apply to programs at large research institutions, since they are often looking for students from non-research focused institutions, like Maryville.

Matt talks about how his peer mentor experience translated to the workplace.

Matt talks about how his peer mentor experience translated to the workplace.

Matt Jenkins secured an internship at Y-12 nuclear facility last summer.  Connections between faculty and alumni can often lead to opportunities for current students, as was the case for Matt.  When an alumna alerted Dr. Bay to the opportunity, he encouraged Matt to apply.  Matt’s job was to create a digital signature system for the Y-12 complex in order to streamline and track approval processes.  In addition to the experience with programming skills, Matt understood the importance of the internship because it allowed him to be immersed professional settings.  He credited his participation as a Maryville College peer mentor for preparing him to speak to large groups of people with confidence.  His experience at Maryville  has also allowed him to interact with high level college administrators, so he felt he could speak comfortably with directors and other superiors without feeling intimidated.

Nabil describes working at the World Bank building.

Nabil describes working at the World Bank building.

Nabil Ahlhauser worked in Washington D.C. at a small company called Bivee that is doing contract work for the National Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference and the Handshake Journal for the World Bank.  Nabil was responsible for building content and designing databases, which is a course he has yet to take at Maryville College.  He credited the rigorous program at Maryville for preparing him for the challenges of completing workplace projects. Additionally, his connections to Maryville Alumni made him aware of the opportunity and got him in the door for an interview.

As we progress through the school year, these talks will be valuable to students both because of the exposure to the kinds of STEM work being done beyond the gates of Maryville College and because it opens their eyes to the opportunities for undergraduate research and internships, an important part of Maryville College Works.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment