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Our Students Learn They Have No Limits in Prestigious Summer Health Professions Education Program


Posted 10/17/2017
Submitted by Kelly Anderson
Category: Campus Announcements, Student Announcements
Sydney Lyncook, who plans on becoming a doctor of optometry, participates in the competitive Summer Health Professions Education Program at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.

Sydney Lyncook, who plans on becoming a doctor of optometry, participates in the competitive Summer Health Professions Education Program at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.

Taylor Beverly, who plans on becoming a doctor of optometry, participates in the competitive Summer Health Professions Education Program at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Taylor Beverly, who plans on becoming a doctor of optometry, participates in the competitive Summer Health Professions Education Program at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

For students aspiring to careers in the medical field, it doesn’t get much better than earning a prestigious “internship” with the Summer Health Professions Education Program. SHPEP is an intensive, six-week program that is focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions.

Taylor Beverly ‘20 and Sydney Lyncook ’19 were selected to participate as scholars in the competitive program. Both students, who are majoring in Health Science in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, plan on becoming medical doctors. Beverly and Lyncook received invaluable career and acamdemic experiences this summer through the program.

“My experience at this program will help me in both my future studies and my career, because it exposed me to the vast disparities in the medical field and realigned my focus towards how I want to make my mark in the world of healthcare,” said Beverly. “The knowledge and mentorship that I gained from being a SHPEP scholar will guide me in my next steps towards achieving my goals,” she adds.

As part of the program, Beverly and Lyncook took science classes, including genetics and organic chemistry, gained clinical exposure, attended career development sessions directed toward exploration of health professions, participated in health policy seminars, and received an introduction to interprofessional education that addressed effective collaboration across health professions.

Through the experience Lyncook furthered her career aspirations and now plans to study Public Health in addition to pursuing a Doctor of Optometry.

“The most impactful thing I learned is that I can be more than a doctor,” said Lyncook. “I can be an advocate for underserved communities. I can do more than treat. I can prevent, spread awareness, and affect populations, not just individuals.”

Both scholars had the opportunity to study outside of Connecticut. Beverly was placed at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Lyncook studied at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.

In reflecting about the program Lyncook acknowledged how unique her summer experience was.

“I got to experience what no average undergraduate got to experience,” she said. “I received hands-on experience in my intended field of Optometry. I learned how to do stitches, surgical knots, how to make and cut off casts and many more tasks.”

The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a free summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools. These students include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, American Indian and Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino, and who are from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage. SHPEP is part of an effort by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that works to build a Culture of Health.

Sydney Lyncook, who plans on becoming a doctor of optometry, participates in the competitive Summer Health Professions Education Program at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.

Sydney Lyncook, who plans on becoming a doctor of optometry, participates in the competitive Summer Health Professions Education Program at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.

Taylor Beverly, who plans on becoming a doctor of optometry, participates in the competitive Summer Health Professions Education Program at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Taylor Beverly, who plans on becoming a doctor of optometry, participates in the competitive Summer Health Professions Education Program at Howard University in Washington, D.C.