skip navigation nih record
Vol. LXI, No. 23
November 13, 2009
cover

previous story

next story



NIH Hosts Community College Day


Evelyn Cruz is enrolled in nursing classes at the three campuses of Montgomery College.
Evelyn Cruz is enrolled in nursing classes at the three campuses of Montgomery College.

Students from Baltimore and Washington area community colleges got a different taste of campus life recently while participating in the first Community College Day at NIH. Held at Natcher Conference Center, the day-long event was within driving distance of an array of 2-year undergraduate schools that serve the region.

The program featured talks and panel discussions about biomedical careers, clinical trials and basic research. It also offered participants a visit to the National Library of Medicine and to buildings housing biomedical laboratories. Approximately 80 participants attended from seven community colleges in Maryland and Virginia.

“NIH is the perfect place to learn about science,” said Evelyn Cruz, 27, who is enrolled in nursing classes at the three campuses of Montgomery College. She particularly valued the opportunity to network, collecting business cards—and confidence—along the way. “I am more likely to view it as okay to ask for help and to turn to someone who knows about the field,” she said.

Dr. Christine Barrow, acting chair of the department of biological sciences at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md., is a former NIH summer intern.
Dr. Christine Barrow, acting chair of the department of biological sciences at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md., is a former NIH summer intern.
The event, sponsored by the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education and the National Human Genome Research Institute, provided students and instructors an opportunity to both visit the NIH campus and learn about careers and training possibilities in biomedical and health care fields.

For Dr. Christine Barrow, acting chair of the department of biological sciences at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md. (and a former NIH summer intern), the day was the culmination of her 3-year collaboration with NIH authorities. She was particularly pleased to hear from NIH presenters who themselves attended community colleges. “One of the great things about this day is that the students are seeing that they can access these innovative types of opportunities to do research,” she said.

She is aware of some of the unique needs of her student population. “Many community college students have family responsibilities and full- or part-time jobs, so we need to structure some flexibility into our programs,” she said. “I just keep thinking that it is important to send students to NIH, because it opens doors.” NIHRecord Icon

back to top of page