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Biomedical Learning and Student Training (BLaST) is partnering again with the Rural Alaska Honors Institute (RAHI), an undergraduate bridge program offered to seniors and juniors in high schools from all over Alaska. Roughly 57 students from around the state are coming and staying at the University Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) campus for a six-week long immersion into college life. Students will take a full load of college courses, live in the dorms, and explore Interior Alaska.
Annually, a portion of these students participate in “RAHI Research,” a collaboration between RAHI and the BLaST program. Last year, when COVID-19 hit, arrangements were made with the selected RAHI Research students to offer the course online. Eight motivated students from seven communities around Alaska said “yes,” and embarked on six weeks of intensive online learning and hands-on research.
The RAHI Research students will complete nine to 10 college credits including BLaST’s BMSC 214: Introduction to Biomedical Research, with Research Advising and Mentoring Professionals (RAMPs) Emily Sousa and Theresa Vertigan, and BMSC 224: Entering Research, with RAMPs Andrew Cyr, Ellen Chenoweth, and Natalia Podlutskaya. Classroom discussions will include research design, chemistry, stable isotopes, biomedical research ethics, and developing research questions. Outside of class time, they will conduct research and collect data with participating labs, all while observing pandemic safety guidelines.
At the end of the semester, the students will present their research in three posters to the RAHI, UAF, and BLaST communities. Past RAHI Research students said that their experiences enriched and widened their understanding of biomedical research and how they can apply it to their own communities.
Check out RAHI at https://www.uaf.edu/rahi/index.php, and BLaST at https://www.uaf.edu/rahi/index.php