Taking a stab at a career in medicine

June 17, 2010

ASU brings high schoolers to campus for suture clinic

Gloves snapped, instruments clanked and plates scraped along work tables as more than 50 Arizona high school students cleanly sutured incisions – or at least tried. Download Full Image

Clamors of “Where do I even cut it?” “How deep do I stick the needle?” “Wait, is that the bone?” and the occasional “Oh, gross …” filled an ASU classroom June 16 as the students hunched over pig legs with a hemostat in one hand and tweezers in the other to practice stitching a laceration – just like a surgeon.

The suture clinic filled one slot in a three-day jam-packed schedule of a summer medical camp offered by ASU to Arizona high school scholars interested in pursuing careers in medicine, nursing, health care or veterinary medicine. The camp was one of this summer">http://promise.asu.edu/csp/summerprograms">summer’s enrichment opportunities at ASU designed to give high school students a sample of college programs and classes.

The programs – ranging from an advanced writers institute to a symposium on women in science and engineering, and sequences in codes (mathematics) to jury trial advocacy – drew more than 300 students to ASU from public, private, charter and college preparatory schools throughout the state, as well as from the Navajo and San Carlos Apache reservations. Among the participants were homeschooled students. Scholarships were available through the Office">http://educationpartnerships.asu.edu/content/about-office-vice-president... of the Vice President for Educational Partnerships.

“Research shows, and school districts confirm, that high school students need opportunities in the summer to continually grow academically,” said Mark Duplissis, who oversees ASU’s Collegiate">http://promise.asu.edu/csp/">Collegiate Scholars Program and High School Relations. The summer enrichment program provided high school students an opportunity to learn from leading professors in their field of interest while showcasing educational opportunities at ASU, he said.

Of this summer’s 14 programs, the medical camp was one of the most popular, Duplissis said. Faculty and undergraduate students from ASU’s College">http://clas.asu.edu">College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College">http://nursingandhealth.asu.edu">College of Nursing and Health Innovation and University">http://students.asu.edu/health">University Health Services volunteered to lead or assist with mini-lessons, panel discussions and hands-on activities that ranged from exploring cochlear implants for hearing loss to a deconstruction of energy drinks.

The camp’s diverse agenda was as much about giving students confidence in their career choices as it was about giving them a peek at ASU’s resources, according to Phillip Scharf, who helped coordinate the camp. Scharf directs ASU’s Office">http://prehealth.asu.edu">Office of Pre-Professional Advising, which provides academic and career services to any student or Valley resident looking to break into the health care field.

“It is my hope that this summer camp helps high school students either become more passionate about the field of health care or have a realization that it’s not the field in which they want to be involved,” Scharf said. “The camp gives them an opportunity to be sure of what they want to do.”

Alex Moore, a junior at Desert Vista High School, said the camp had indeed strengthened his desire to do medicine, but the variety of career possibilities presented at the camp left him unsure about pharmacology, his intended specialization. Though Moore said he hadn’t previously done anything like the suture clinic, he caught on fast. Minutes after beginning the activity, he was already lending a helping hand – literally – to other students struggling to correctly insert their needles.

Hayden High School senior Eva Borquez, however, didn’t have as much luck. “I don’t understand what I’m doing,” Borquez said, laughing over her first suturing attempt. Borquez said the camp got her excited for medical school and made her more confident of her interest in pediatrics or child psychology. She confirmed, glancing at her pig leg, that she definitely “won’t be doing surgery.”

In between lessons, Duplissis and Scharf answered questions and volunteered tips for college success, which included seeking out contacts with professors early on and being “a doer, not just a joiner” when it comes to the university’s 14">http://prehealth.asu.edu/clubs">14 organizations dedicated to the health professions.

Members of one such organization – Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), the pre-health honors society – represented the ASU chapter at the suture clinic. They worked alongside Dr. Stefanie Schroeder, the chief of medical staff at ASU Health Services, and Dr. Jo Knatz, an obstetrician-gynecologist also at ASU Health Services, helping students with their suturing technique. AED incoming president Aaron Dahl, a senior majoring in Spanish literature with a biochemistry minor, organized the suturing activity.

The first high schooler to successfully stitch up a pig leg hadn’t initially looked at a medical career. Michael Wang, a Desert Vista High School junior, said he plans to major in computer engineering and isn’t at all sure about going to medical school. But after the chance to attempt suturing and other hands-on practice, he said he’d decided to take a second look at his interest in the medical field.

That, said chemistry senior and AED member John Griffin, is the best part of experiences like the summer medical camp. “Stuff like this is great because it not only pulls in AED members and other ASU students, it also pulls in complete strangers who may be still thinking about whether they want to go to med school. This could be what pushes them over the edge.”

More information on how high school students can get involved at ASU is online at http://promise.asu.edu.">http://promise.asu.edu/">http://promise.asu.edu.

Written by Maria Polletta (maria.polletta@asu.edu).

Carol Hughes, carol.hughes@asu.edu
(480) 965-6375
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Arizona's sustainable energy future gets boost from new grants

June 17, 2010

Editor’s note: This press release first appeared on the APS">http://www.aps.com/main/news/releases/release_598.html">APS website and has been republished with permission.

Three Arizona State University (ASU) faculty members have been awarded $10,000 APS Sustainable Design Research grants to advance sustainability in the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, industrial, interior or visual communication design. Download Full Image

Thomas Hartman, associate professor, ASU Herberger">http://sala.asu.edu/">Herberger Institute School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, is studying the creation of design templates that optimally orient a home to reduce energy use while taking into account traditional subdivision layout and housing design plans.

Sherry Ahrentzen, PhD, associate Director for Research, Policy and Strategic Initiatives, Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family, ASU Herberger Institute School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, is designing and building a prototype for a sustainable therapeutic garden at a low-income senior housing facility, which is undergoing a Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) green renovation and occupant health study.

Catherine Spellman, associate professor, ASU Herberger Institute School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, is researching urbanism and the application of sustainable design practices at the scale of the neighborhood, the street and individual houses to create a better quality of living.

“All three of these projects will help designers and builders create more energy efficient infrastructure, which is important to a sustainable energy future for Arizona,” said Ed Fox, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for APS.

The APS Endowment for Sustainable Design Research grants come from a collaborative effort between APS and ASU. In 1994, the APS-ASU Environmental Showcase Home was built. The home was designed to help reduce consumption of natural resources and to significantly change perceptions about standard building practices and materials in the Sonoran Desert. APS donated the Environmental Showcase Home to the ASU Foundation for a New American University (ASUF) in 2000. Subsequently, ASUF sold the home, and in consultation with APS and the college, used the proceeds to establish the endowment that supports the faculty grants. The grants follow on the original mission of the showcase home, to educate and foster new solutions for sustainable designs.

“The faculty and students in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture are advancing collaborative design models that help redefine 21st century challenges and provide solutions in service of the greater public good,” said Darren Petrucci, director, ASU Herberger Institute School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Comprised of a dynamic combination of disciplines, the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University is at the forefront of the investigation of creativity and creative practice shaping the 21st century. Many of the institute's programs consistently rank in the top ten of national peers and encompass over 45 areas of study within its six schools: architecture and landscape architecture; art; arts, media and engineering; dance; music; and theatre and film. The ASU Art Museum and the Herberger Institute Research Center support our research initiatives. To learn more about the institute, visit http://herbergerinstitute.asu.edu

APS">http://herbergerinstitute.asu.edu">http://herbergerinstitute.asu.edu..., Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves about 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the largest principal of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW)

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Steven Gotfried
Arizona Public Service

Wendy Craft

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