CCPA Summer Series 2019: Physicians for Human Rights

CCPA Summer Series 2019: Physicians for Human Rights

By Isabel Clements This summer, I’ll be working with Physicians for Human Rights, a non-profit organization located at home in NYC. Although based in the U.S., the NGO documents human rights violations across the world and empowers local communities in addressing these atrocities. In my role as Arabic-Speaking Investigations Intern, I will be researching the mercurial conflicts in Syria and Yemen. In particular, my research will address attacks on healthcare and medical aid in the two countries. Should a video of a recent bombing of a Syrian medical point be posted on YouTube, it will be my job to “decode” the footage and figure out what is being seen and heard (albeit with a lot of support from my colleagues). I have been told that the organization has not hired a non-native speaker for this position in the past, so I am anxious to perform my job thoroughly and immaculately, given that I am still learning Arabic. A mistake in translation could be harmful or misleading, so there will be a lot of pressure on my Arabic skills. Hopefully, this will lead to language acquisition and increasing fluency on my part! Moreover, I am much more versed in Syrian dialect than I am in Yemeni Arabic, so the notion of reviewing documents and media from Yemen is somewhat formidable to me. All in all, it will be an intellectual challenge, but I’m prepared to learn! Several of my colleagues in the research department will be native Arabic speakers, so I am relieved to be having their support. I am excited to be working with a diverse group of people...
CCPA Summer Series 2018: Educational Outcome Consortium (EOC)

CCPA Summer Series 2018: Educational Outcome Consortium (EOC)

By Trevor Larner This summer I have a Whitehead Internship working for the Educational Outcome Consortium (EOC), formerly known as GiftedHire, which is a higher education startup. I have had a great experience thus far! For the first two weeks of the internship, I worked in Portland, Maine, where one of the two main employees of the company is located. For the first day or so, I was orienting myself as to what the company does, including how they are progressing in an important contract they recently obtained. EOC does most of their work with Honor Societies by consulting Honor Societies in order to help them cut costs and have more money for scholarships and their members. Thus, I had to do a lot of research into Honor Societies in order to learn about the field and which are the big players, as well as researching about Higher Education Consulting firms to see the business model that EOC is aiming for. I learned a lot about the financials of the Honor Societies, which is interesting since they are non-profits; hence, they flow all their excess funds into scholarships and opportunities for their members. Later in the first week and into the next week I started doing work on researching which technological solutions are best for the Honor Society that the contract is with. A lot of what EOC is doing is finding cheaper and more efficient technological solutions, as a large portion of the budget of any company is tied into their software contracts. Thus, a cheaper solution here can go a long way in being able to provide...
CCPA Summer Series 2018: Haagerup Excavation: Seeing through Skeletons into Our Past

CCPA Summer Series 2018: Haagerup Excavation: Seeing through Skeletons into Our Past

CCPA Note: Today’s blog starts our annual summer series, where Haverford students funded through college sponsored opportunities share their experiences. We are so excited for the series to begin, and look forward to an exciting summer ahead! By Yifan Zhang This summer, I have the amazing opportunity to excavate a medieval cemetery on the island of Fyn in Denmark. Haagerup archaeological campaign is organized by the Unit of Anthropology (ADBOU) at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), and I will be working with bioarchaeologists from SDU and Penn State. Through participating in this exciting project, I will gain valuable fieldwork experience and learn bioarchaeological knowledge that is not taught at Haverford. What’s more, few things could be more rewarding than personally contributing to an international research project alongside leading scholars in the field! All of these are made possible by the generosity of Ms. Deborah Lafer-Scher and the kind support from CCPA, for which I am genuinely thankful. Haagerup cemetery was abandoned after the Protestant Reformation in Denmark and was in use for approximately five centuries, serving a local rural parish. Archaeologists estimate that there are 3000 burials in this site. So what can we learn from studying thousands of skeletons? Skeletal remains are fascinating carriers of information. When other organic materials and soft tissues have decomposed, bones persist in the soil. Not only do they provide us with the demographic profile of past populations, but diet, epidemic, disease, famine, and violence also leave marks on the bone. Numerous interesting questions, which are otherwise mysteries, can now be answers with the information we collect from the skeletal remains. Personally,...
CCPA Summer Series 2017: Keri Cronin at Penn’s Vasculitis Center

CCPA Summer Series 2017: Keri Cronin at Penn’s Vasculitis Center

This summer I am working as a research assistant at Penn’s Vasculitis Center. The center is part of the division of rheumatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Vasculitis is a subspecialty of rheumatology that focuses on auto-immune diseases where the immune system attacks the blood vessels in the body causing them to become inflamed. There are different types of vasculitis diseases, which are classified based on the size of the affected vessel dividing the family of diseases into small, medium, and large vessel vasculitides. The team of physicians I work with are members of the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network which aims to spearhead research between hospitals for rare diseases, including vasculitis, through the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC). The consortium includes the University of Pennsylvania in addition to hospitals such as the Cleveland Clinic, John’s Hopkins University, and many others globally. I spend part of my week working on the current research studies. I devoted another portion of my workweek to data and compliance for longitudinal studies that track patients over the course of several years. I am also working on a study where we work on collecting tissue biopsies from patients in hopes of creating a large data bank of tissue that can be analyzed to potentially identify patterns among and within vasculitis diseases. For my primary project, I am working with a team of doctors to generate a survey to distribute to patients via an online patient network called the Vasculitis Patient Powered Research Network (VPPRN). It was created to revolutionize how clinical research in vasculitis is conducted by directly involving patients in...