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b2ap3_thumbnail_Cochran.jpgIsaiah Cochran, a Waynesburg University junior from Akron, Ohio, was recently elected the pre-medical trustee for the 2014-2015 American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Board of Trustees. The election was held in New Orleans in March, and the biology (pre-med) major will assume his position May 1.

As pre-medical trustee, Cochran will work directly with the national president of AMSA. In his position, he will also work with the five pre-medical region directors as a liaison between the national and local levels of the organization.

“I honestly think initiating the chapter at Waynesburg University was key [to the election],” Cochran said. “In my speech, they could hear how much I enjoy this organization and how I want to make a difference. I truly hope this position helps me to help others in the pre-medical track across the country reach their goals.”

Previously, Cochran served as president of the Waynesburg Chapter of AMSA, which he initiated as a freshman. As a sophomore, Cochran was elected one of five national pre-medical region directors for AMSA, with the responsibility to oversee more than 105 university and college AMSA chapters across 12 states. During his tenure in that position, AMSA recruited more than 3,000 new members in all five regions.

Within his new position, Cochran hopes to build membership and to continue talking about advocacy on a larger scale as he has done with the Global Health Fund in recent years. The Global Health Fund is a non-profit organization that focuses on fighting AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.  

In addition to his newly appointed title within AMSA, Cochran has also been selected for a fellowship at Harvard Medical School in neuroscience and translational methods for the summer of 2014. Last summer, Cochran was selected from a pool of thousands nationwide to participate in the Sackler/National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program: Integrated Research at the Frontiers of the Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at Yale University's Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute.

With a half-century history of medical student activism, AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Today, AMSA is a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. AMSA members are medical students, premedical students, interns, residents and practicing physicians. Founded in 1950, AMSA continues its commitment to improving medical training and the nation's health.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Posted by on in Alumni

Biology (Pre-Physical Therapy)

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Additional Info:

  • Bachelor of Science, Waynesburg University, 2010
  • Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Shenandoah University, 2013

“At some points in my graduate career, my knowledge was beyond what we were learning in the classroom because of my solid foundation in athletic training.  All of my didactic course work in athletic training from Waynesburg University prepared me so well.”

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Posted by on in Alumni

Biology (Pre-vet)

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Columbus, Ohio

Additional Info:

  • Bachelor of Science, Waynesburg University, 2013

“Through the variety of Waynesburg University clubs, activities and extracurricular activities, I was able to diversify myself and stand out amongst the hundreds of other applicants applying to veterinary school. The professors at Waynesburg provided me with a comprehensive and challenging curriculum that prepared me for success in professional school.”

Tagged in: biology biology alumni
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b2ap3_thumbnail_Cochran-resized.jpgWhen he respectfully declined a full ride to a large Ohio state school, many of Isaiah Cochran’s high school friends thought he was crazy. But the aspiring neurosurgeon knew that God had something better in store for him – a life changing experience at Waynesburg University. After hearing of his acceptance into Waynesburg, a school he admired for rigorous academics and faithful service, and after receiving the supreme financial security offered by the Ohio Honors Scholarship, Cochran couldn’t decline the opportunity.  

“When I was notified that I received the Ohio Honors Scholarship, I was in my high school eighth period Spanish Class. I remember crying when I heard the news,” Cochran said. “All I know is the scholarship has allowed me to do things that most college students could only dream of; it has brought me one step closer to achieving my ultimate dream of making a difference in this world. God has blessed me in way that I cannot comprehend.”

One of those blessings resulted in an esteemed internship with a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, an initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The junior pre-med student and star Waynesburg University tennis player from Akron, Ohio, was selected from a pool of thousands nationwide to participate in the Sackler/NSF REU: Integrated Research at the Frontiers of the Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at Yale University's Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute.

The Sackler/NSF REU program provides research training to students for 10 weeks under the mentorship of faculty members through research. In accordance with the program leadership team, students selected for the program choose a research project from three areas: mechanics of cellular processes, protein function and misfolding, or technology and method development for integrated research.

Cochran had the opportunity to participate in workshops and seminars ranging from laboratory methods to applying to graduate school. He also presented his work at a research symposium, which was held in conjunction with Yale's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program and the Center of Excellence for Materials Research and Innovation (CEMRI) Center for Research on Interface Structure & Phenomena (CRISP) REU program at Yale.

“I think Isaiah made great strides, both intellectually and technically. Intellectually, I think that putting together his presentation and then getting up and presenting in front of a crowd was a great accomplishment,” Cochran’s Yale internship supervisor, Dr. Megan King, said. “In the lab, I think he gained tremendous progress in working independently and competently at the bench.”

Challenged by the meticulous work and demanding time constraints at Yale, Cochran reminded himself of the many people rooting for him and of the invaluable research experience that he would gain. Though he was surrounded by new faces in an unfamiliar lab, Cochran felt right at home thanks to his laboratory and classroom training at Waynesburg University.

“It was very challenging. Some weeks I was in the lab for 60 hours a week trying to induce a double strand break into the yeast genome,” Cochran said. “I knew it would take a lot of hard work; what I did not expect was to be so well prepared for it. I can only thank the professors at Waynesburg for my strong science background.”

During the internship, Cochran worked in a lab focusing on DNA repair pathways. His summer project included inducing the double strand so that two distinct proteins could potentially ligate the DNA back together. As DNA repair becomes more successful, Cochran said it could usurp medicine as a way to cure diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

“My favorite internship experience was learning and building a great foundation that I hope I can use as a clinician in neurology as well as a researcher in neurology,” Cochran said. “I also made some amazing connections. I think they will remember that a student from Waynesburg did a good job.”

With a passion for enhancing the medical world, Cochran initiated an American Medical Student Association (AMSA) chapter as a freshman at Waynesburg, but he didn’t stop there. Now a junior, he serves as a national Pre-Medical Region 1 Director for the AMSA, with responsibilities to oversee more than 105 university and college AMSA Chapters across 12 states.

“Medicine is not about self-glory; it is about doctoring, whether you have ‘Dr.’ in front of your name or not,” said Cochran. “There is a revolution coming in medicine and it is geared towards patient equality.”

He has relished the hands-on learning opportunities afforded to him at Waynesburg and has cited professors, coaches and even the President of Waynesburg University for personal help and support along the way.

“I have learned so much at Waynesburg. The professors give us a support system. They know you and they know what will make you successful,” Cochran said. “I have had this fire in me to change the world since I was in 8th grade. With the opportunities that I have been given, I know that it is just a matter of time before I do.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Carolyn-Highland.JPGPriority application offers a number of perks. For Carolyn Highland, a junior biology major with minors in chemistry and English, a 4.0 GPA and a bevy of leadership roles at Waynesburg University, those perks come as a result of hard work. When she applied early to Miami University’s Chemistry & Biochemistry summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, she was accepted almost immediately and had the opportunity to tailor her summer internship to her unique interests.

“Although most of the other students in my program worked as assistants to graduate student researchers for the summer, I was given my own project,” Highland said. “I examined quantities and structures of tannins, or plant-produced macromolecules, in several species of Juniper plants.”

She was selected from a pool of thousands nationwide to participate in an (REU) Program, an initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).Programs pair students with professionals in the field of science based on research interests.

“Carolyn’s project required her to learn new concepts and new techniques.  Learning how to approach a new area of study and integrate new information with things learned in a formal classroom setting is an important professional accomplishment,” said Dr. Ann E. Hagerman, Highland’s internship supervisor and research professor at Miami University. “She is a good student and her background is quite strong.  She is well prepared to continue her studies.”

The undergraduate research associate spent 40 to 50 hours a week in Miami University’s science lab, immersed in her research of Tannins, which exhibit antioxidant properties for human health. She hopes to continue her research after graduating from Waynesburg University and to earn a doctorate in biochemistry.

Highland, who balances her academics and Waynesburg University biology club membership with involvement in Student Senate at the vice president level, said that Waynesburg’s mission of faith, serving and learning played an enormous role at her internship.

“It is very, very important that scientists record and report their results with absolute honesty and respect the earth and its inhabitants,” Highland said. “Sometimes, doing the most ethical thing in research is not the easiest, but Waynesburg teaches students to be honest and do what’s right, no matter what.”

Those teachings, coupled with rigorous Waynesburg coursework and a significant internship opportunity, prepared Highland to begin her junior year, validated her career goals and introduced her to a new level of analysis.

“The ability to perform an experiment is important in research, but only secondary to the ability to think through and understand the reasons for its potential outcomes,” Highland said. “The excellent classroom and laboratory instruction I received at Waynesburg combined with the REU internship gave me the opportunity to begin transforming my way of thinking from that of a student to that of a scientist.”

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