Harford Community College students and faculty attended the National Institutes of Health Community College Day 2017 in Bethesda, Maryland, on November 21. The annual event provides students and faculty an opportunity to visit the NIH campus to learn about careers and summer research internship opportunities in biomedical and health care fields.

Erika L. Barr, Ph.D., Director, NIH Community College Program; and Sharon Milgram, Ph.D., Director, Office of Intramural Training & Education, gave the welcome and keynote address. Panel discussions followed about health care careers, how to apply for NIH internships, and faculty breakout sessions were held. Skills blitz sessions were provided on resume building, tips for writing cover letters/personal statements, developing interviewing skills, choosing a four-year college, transitioning and thriving at a four-year institution, networking for work, and managing stress. In addition, a Networking Lunch on Career Conversations was held.

Attendees from Harford Community College included Pamela Pape-Lindstrom, Dean of STEM; Associate Professor Tami Imbierowicz; Assistant Professor Jackie Madden; and HCC students Renee Loftus, biology major and S-STEM Scholar; Michelle Ramsahoye, biology/physics major, S-STEM Scholar, and LSAMP Scholar; and Amanda Polley, biology major and HCC Biology Club President.

“Visiting the NIH facilities and listening to the testimonies from past student participants helped our students to visualize themselves as a student researcher at NIH. The opportunity seems more real and the application process a little less intimidating,” said Imbierowicz.

Madden added, “As a faculty member, I think it is important to expose students to the opportunities for them in Harford County, the state of Maryland, and beyond. Participation in the NIH Community College Day provided our students with a chance to see the types of opportunities available to them and, more importantly, to recognize what they are capable of achieving. My favorite part of the day was the student intern panel discussion, because it allowed our students to visualize themselves in those positions and realize the possibilities for themselves as students and scientists.”

The NIH carries out and funds biomedical research in an effort to prevent and cure common and rare diseases. It also helps train the next generation of doctors, researchers, and medical support staff who will improve human health in the future, both across the country and around the world.