VBRN News & Highlights

VGN Summer Interns Find Opportunities in Vermont

In addition to the student researchers working in the funded faculty laboratories over the summer and academic year, VGN offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates to gain research experience outside of their home institution. Through VGN’s partnerships, we have provided Vermont students and those from underrepresented groups with research experiences at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS), Delaware State University (DSU, a historically black university), the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Bia Diagnostics, LLC. In 2018, VGN placed 14 students, including five from historically black colleges and universities, and in 2019, 10 undergraduate researchers were accepted. These cohorts include students from our in-state outreach partners, Landmark College and the Community College of Vermont.

Among those in 2018 was Sabrina Hardy from Northern Vermont University- Lyndon who worked at ACPHS in Dr. Yana Cen’s lab. Sabrina, who grew up in Milton, VT, was considering applying to pharmacy school before this research experience. At the end of the summer, however, she knew this was the career path for her. “This is definitely the best professional decision I’ve made in my life,” she said of participating in the VGN program. Sabrina has since applied for and is currently enrolled in ACPHS’s Doctor of Pharmacy program to pursue her dream of becoming a pharmacist.

VGN is especially proud of its connection to DSU, a member of the Delaware INBRE network, in which we exchange two students every summer. As a result, our Vermont students learn advanced laboratory experiences in another state, and VGN benefits by hosting diverse and highly skilled undergraduate scholars at the University of Vermont.

The overall success of this program is evident in the number of students who have maintained connections to their labs, and is exemplified by the two student co- authored publications from 2018’s cohort. VGN is excited to continue offering these opportunities and looks forward to expanding our partnerships to more industry and state agencies.