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Cliff Notes May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2

Globetrotting Fellows


Four talented UCSD undergrads spent their summer conducting research all over the world—and one won’t come back! Chosen from 90 applicants, they were part of the inaugural year of the Minority Health International Research Training Fellowship program traveling to Peru, Egypt, Taiwan and the Czech Republic.

The goal, according to the man who created the program, Professor Warren Lockette, was for students to conduct research in a foreign setting and learn how different cultures deal with the healthcare issues of their minorities.

Ryan Matson, ’06, has been gaining field and lab experience studying malaria along the Amazon River in Iquitos, Peru. So far, he’s drawn blood from locals, collected fecal samples from families in jungle villages, interacted with hospital personnel and written his own project protocols. Even though the fellowship has officially ended, he has been able to extend his stay in order to run a study on malaria transmission in the area.

In the Middle East, Jennifer Pranskevich, ’07, worked for 11 weeks in an Egyptian-staffed U.S. Navy medical research unit in Cairo, studying the mosquito transmission of Leishmaniasis and Malaria. She collected samples from Libya, the border of Sudan and Egypt until the war in Lebanon grounded her in Cairo. As well as learning Arabic, she experienced firsthand the cultural differences of being a woman and scientist in a Middle Eastern society.

Ryan Woodman, ’05, went to the Academy of Sciences in Prague, the Czech Republic, to study metabolic syndromes and the effect of treatment on reducing insulin resistance in the Roma gypsy and Vietnamese minority population. His experience included a two-week field excursion working with young cancer patients at a foundation outside Prague.

On the other side of the globe, Shannon Eliot, ’07, did research in a stem cell lab at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan. She also attended a two-day International Stem Cell Conference with some of the most experienced stem cell researchers in the world.

Victim of Our Own Success
Why are some freshmen crowded three to a room in Muir? Simple answer: UCSD is too popular. The University received 400 more statements of intent to register than projected for the 2006-07 year, and John Muir College was impacted the most.

Across the entire system, UC Davis,
UC Irvine and UCLA are also overenrolled, however, UCSD has remained second in the UC system in terms of applicant popularity, according to Assistant Vice Chancellor of Admissions and Registration Mae W. Brown. In fact, the admissions website states that there has been a 7.6
percent rise in freshmen applications.

Overall, approximately 4,550 freshmen enrolled this year, with the largest growth in Biological Sciences, Arts and Humanities, first generation college students and Bay Area residents, according to the website.

“I think that the academic reputation of UC San Diego continues to attract more and more talented students,” Brown stated in an e-mail. “I think [that] all campus departments, undergraduate colleges, the resident deans, the housing office and the staff from the Office of the Registrar worked hard to make sure that students’ needs were met.”
However, some freshmen had a different take on the situation. Juliana Kincannon, a John Muir College freshman, encountered crowded triple rooms and a stressful Fall-Quarter registration with classes that were full. On the other hand, others hope this influx of freshmen will create a much needed boost to a sense of community. According to Meg Gullo, ’07, an adviser in Muir’s Tioga Hall, “With so many people, residents are more social, studying together, waiting in long dining hall lines together and having some collective notion of understanding that they are in the same situation.”

Cliff Notes written by Neda Oreizy, ’08


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Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) Fellowship

"The goal, according to the man who created the program, Professor Warren Lockette, was for students to conduct research in a foreign setting and learn how different cultures deal with the healthcare issues of their minorities."