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Stepping Stones to Healing: Aspiring Health Care, Veterinary Scholars Explore Biological Research


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From left, 2022 Native American Summer Mentorship Program participants Shailyn Parrish and Malika Isabelle Oldman learn lab techniques from Biology and Ecology Center Professor Carol von Dohlen and doctoral student Meg Licht. (M. Muffoletto photo)

Having grown up around horses, cattle, sheep and goats, Utah State University Blanding scholar Shailyn Parrish has few qualms around large animals. But the thought of collecting live bugs caused the Kayenta, Arizona native a bit of angst as she started research activities with USU Biology and Ecology Center Professor Carol von Dohlen.

Those fears were short-lived, however, as Parrish and Malika Isabelle Oldman, a fellow participant in USU’s 2022 Native American Summer Mentorship Program, got started with scooping up insects — with bare hands, mind you — to begin dissection, DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction tests of the tiny critters.

“Dr. von Dohlen and her grad students showed us exactly where to look, so it wasn’t hard to find the bugs around campus,” says Parrish, an aspiring veterinarian. “I forgot to be afraid as I got interested in the research.”

Parrish and Oldman are among nine USU Blanding Aggies who’ve traveled to Logan to participate in the university’s NASMP program. Initiated in 2014, NASMP provides an immersive introduction to four-year degree programs in a wide variety of disciplines.

Read the entire story here.

Participants in USU's 2022 Native American Summer Mentorship Program will present research projects Tuesday, June 14.