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Scripps Florida Will Host a Record Number of Student Summer Interns

Two University Undergrads Are Among Those Chosen for the Prestigious Program

JUPITER, FL, June 10, 2009—For 17 Florida high school students, teachers, and university undergraduates, this summer will be an opportunity to try their hand at science in the laboratories of The Scripps Research Institute's Florida campus and to receive an extended lesson in the day-to-day intricacies of modern biomedical research.

A total of 14 high school juniors and seniors and one high school teacher have been selected as summer interns at Scripps Florida. The program, now in its fourth year on the Florida campus, is sponsored by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, a North Carolina foundation with a special interest in education.

What's new this summer is that two program alumni, now university undergraduate students, are making a return visit to Scripps Florida as interns.

"For high school students, the hands-on intern program offers a window into what professional scientific research is all about," said Deborah Leach-Scampavia, the education and outreach administrator for Scripps Florida who has managed the program since 2006. "For our two undergraduate interns, this will probably be a much more rigorous experience, closer to the work they might be doing as graduate students. We hope that the return of these two former high school interns will help establish a legacy program at Scripps Florida."

A record number of 130 students applied for a limited number of openings in this summer's program, which runs from June 15 to July 24, Leach-Scampavia said.

"From that pool of 130 applicants, we had to select a relative handful for this opportunity," she said. "The good news is there are a lot of great kids in the Palm Beach County school district who would benefit from this program and who possess great academic skills. Hopefully, we will be able to take more interns next year."

To date, 43 teachers and students from 15 of the 23 public high schools in Palm Beach County have participated in the summer intern program.

"Following the completion of their laboratory projects students have been offered part-time laboratory technician positions in our, neuroscience, cancer biology, and drug discovery laboratories," Leach-Scampavia said, "so the opportunities extend well beyond the intern program itself."

The internships can have a real-life impact on a student's future education as well. All of the former Scripps Florida interns who have graduated from high school are now enrolled in universities.

The program's rewards also extend to the Scripps Florida scientist mentors.

"Many of [the scientists] had someone who came into their lives when they were students and influenced them to continue in science," she said. "Now they get to play that role."

This year's Scripps Florida summer interns are:

Andrew Acevedo
Suncoast Community High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Chemistry

Christine Chapman
Boca Raton Community High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Informatics

Shekinah Fashaw
Atlantic Community High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Cancer Biology

* Margia Ferrer
University of Florida
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Chemistry
* university undergraduate (2006 high school intern)

Alixandra Garic
Seminole Ridge Community High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Metabolism and Aging

* Aruna Khan
Florida Atlantic University
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Molecular Therapeutics
* university undergraduate (2006 high school intern)

Samantha Klasfeld
Spanish River High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Infectology

Lina Leon
A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Cancer Biology

Kenneth Longhurst
Suncoast Community High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Translational Research Institute

** Margarette Marturano
Seminole Ridge Community High School
** high school biotech teacher
2009 intern in Scripps FL Translational Research Institute

Lillian McBee
Jupiter Community High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept of Molecular Therapeutics

Maria Narvaez
Saint Andrew's School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Translational Research Institute Discovery Biology

Joseph Pellizzi
John I. Leonard High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Chemistry

Mike Qian
Atlantic Community High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences

Michael Robo
The Benjamin School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Chemistry

Thomas Salazar
Santaluces Community High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Metabolism and Aging

Paulette Skowronek
Palm Beach Gardens Community High School
2009 intern in Scripps FL Dept. of Cancer Biology

About the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

The Kenan Charitable Trust of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is named for William R. Kenan Jr., a chemical engineer who helped in the discovery of the process of converting calcium carbide to acetylene and the construction of carbide and acetylene plants at the turn of the 19th century. A North Carolina native, Kenan traveled throughout the region to attend to his wide-ranging business interests in railroads, real estate, and oil. As brother-in-law to Henry M. Flagler, Kenan established a strong interest in Florida and spent the majority of his later years in the state. In 1904, Mr. Kenan built the first 210-kilowatt power plant in Miami, and in 1955 as a director of Florida Power & Light he turned on one of the largest power plants in the state, the 140,000-kilowatt power generator in Cutler. Kenan also served for many years as president of the Florida East Coast Railway and the Florida East Coast Hotel Company. Following Kenan's death in 1965, a major portion of his estate was used to establish the trust.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations, at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development. Established in its current configuration in 1961, it employs approximately 3,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students, and administrative and technical support personnel. Scripps Research is headquartered in La Jolla, California. It also includes Scripps Florida, whose researchers focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development.  Scripps Florida is located in Jupiter, Florida.


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