AB students selected for internship opportunity

PHILIPPI, W.Va. — Alderson Broaddus University sophomore Bailey Fedun, junior Ally Kirk, and senior Racheal Lee are among several undergraduate student interns selected to participate in the 2021 WV-INBRE Summer Research Program. The nine-week program focuses on graduate-level research training while expanding the learning experience through workshops, seminars, mentoring, and the use of state-of-the-art core facilities.

A native of Milford, Pennsylvania, Bailey Fedun majors in biology, minors in chemistry, and is a member of the women’s lacrosse team. She says the opportunity to participate in the WV-INBRE program is one she will look forward to all year.

“I am looking forward to learning from those around me,” explained Fedun. “Graduate students and a well-established mentor will surround me; I am bound to learn more than I could ever dream.”

Fedun applied to participate in research based on her interests and previous classroom experience, “I was allowed to partake in ovarian cancer research under the guidance of Dr. Charlie Chen. My professors have introduced me to new ideas and information that have sparked my fascination and altered my way of thinking.”

Fedun hopes her internship will round out her experience as she looks toward possible specialties. She intends to continue her academic career at AB as a physician assistant studies student in the College of Medical Science.

“Alderson Broaddus offers students the chance to build connections with professors and a competitive advantage when applying to programs like WV-INBRE,” explained Ally Kirk. Kirk comes to AB from Logan, West Virginia.

She majors in biology, minors in chemistry, and is a member of the Honors Program, the Student Government Association, and the Alderson Broaddus ambassador program. Kirk will be completing her internship under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Olfert, associate professor in the Department of Human Performance – Exercise Physiology at the WVU School of Medicine.

Kirk’s research project will be focused on the effects of nicotine and e-cigarettes on the cardiovascular system. She is most looking forward to learning how to perform and document biomedical research properly.

“Fortunately, I have gained a vast amount of knowledge concerning research technique and implementation,” said Kirk. Kirk says Alderson Broaddus offers many hands-on experiences through lab instruction and guided research opportunities which have prepared her for her WV-INBRE involvement.

Racheal Lee initially applied to the WV-INBRE program during the 2019-20 academic year and was accepted. Like Fedun and Kirk, Lee’s application process was rigorous, including several essay submissions, future career goals, and laboratory and research experience. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety protocols, the summer internship program was canceled. An invitation to participate in this year’s program was extended and ultimately accepted.

“Thankfully, I was directly readmitted for this summer’s program,” explained Lee.

She will be working under Dr. Candace M. Brown, assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the WVU School of Medicine. Lee’s research efforts will be focused on the brain and the immune system interactions that occur in neurological disease.

Lee is a Severn, Maryland native and majors in biology with a pre-medicine concentration and minors in chemistry and STEM research. In addition to her academic pursuits, Lee is part of the AB Honors Program, has been selected as a Silver Key recipient, is president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), secretary of the Gay-Straight Alliance, treasurer for the AB Missions Team, and is a member of the AB Praise Team and the newly-formed Diversity Task Force. Lee plays for the women’s volleyball team and works as a tutor in the Academic Center for Educational Success.

“My experience at Alderson Broaddus University will supplement my experience in the WV-INBRE program. I know that my professors have poured countless hours of dedication and knowledge into me; I am deeply grateful to them and for this opportunity.”

Student interns are selected for the WV-INBRE program based on their academic record, particularly in science-related courses, laboratory experience, and career goals, in addition to other criteria.

Alderson Broaddus University College of Health, Science, Technology & Mathematics provides outstanding educational opportunities in various majors and minors within biology, chemistry, computer science, cyber-security, environmental science, exercise science, natural resource management, nursing, and mathematics. Each program is designed to give students the hands-on experience necessary to prosper in their careers.

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