Student Researchers Reflect on Midsummer Achievements

Student panel discussion at the Mid-Summer Research Retreat. L to R:  Associate Dean for Student Research and Education, Gregory B. Carey, PhD, moderates the panel featuring Mira Eze, Maya Bhattiprolu, Hannah Braimoh, Megha Chander, Haoran Li, Sophie Werner, Bibhas Amatya, and Amaya Jones-Core.

Written by Ashley DeMaio | July 8, 2024

Summer is in full swing at the University of Maryland, and while some students can be found lounging on a beach, many can be found in labs or classrooms at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP), and at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW) conducting research under the guidance of faculty mentors.

Many of those students are “UM Scholars”, who are primarily UMCP undergraduates.

The UM Scholars program is a paid summer internship that connects students from University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) with faculty mentors at the opposite campus and with leadership at the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to collaborate on research projects. It is a strategic initiative of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State (MPower).

Over the course of 10-weeks from late May to early August, faculty members mentor UM Scholars with the hopes of expanding their knowledge about specific topics in research and exposing them to various research careers available in their field.

One highlight for students is the annual Mid-Summer Research Retreat, which celebrates the midpoint of the summer. During the event on Wednesday, June 26, 2024 students had the opportunity to present their initial research and their progress made during oral presentations at the SMC Campus Center.

Presentations covered varying research topics and fields including traumatic brain injury, brain disorders, ovarian cancer treatment, acute myeloid leukemia treatment, hallucinogens effect on binge-drinking, diminished pain response, and more. Presentations were followed by an interactive Q&A detailing the students research experiences thus far. 

Of the eight students who were chosen to present and sit on the panel, three represented the UM Scholars program: Maya Bhattiprolu and Hannah Braimoh, two of 16 students being mentored at UMSOM, and Megha Chander, one of 10 students being mentored at UMSON.

During the panel, students spoke to their experience and discussed the early stages of executing their project goals, and how this work is expected to have a future impact on science and medicine.

In addition, two students are being mentored by C. Daniel Mullins, PhD at UMSOP, two students are being mentored at UMSSW; one by Amelia Rubenstein, MSW, LCSW-C, and another student by Nadine Finigan-Carr at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Center for Violence Prevention. There are also seven students being mentored by leadership at the Maryland Department of Health.