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News Event and Announcement Detail

August 12, 2011

Even Better the Second Year!

From left: Emmaline DeMeritt, Devin Hunt, Amanda Waller,
Dr. Nicole Close, Elena Woieichowska, John Kyle Apostolides,
Keiko Sing

For the second consecutive year Dr. Nicole C. Close, President of EmpiriStat, has awarded scholarships to undergraduate students from Juniata College. The purpose of the scholarship is to expose undergraduate students to professional meetings in the field in order to gain “real experiences” applicable to their college studies. The EmpiriStat scholarship included an all-inclusive trip to the SCT Annual meeting held this year in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, membership to the society for one year, and more importantly mentorship and guidance for attending and participating in a professional meeting. Due to the caliber of scholarship applicants, coupled with a passion for education, Dr. Close found it impossible to choose just one winner this year. EmpiriStat was very proud to award two recipients for this year’s scholarship: Amanda Waller (Class of 2013) and Elena Woieiechowska (Class of 2012).

Amanda Waller

Elena Woieichowska

The applications were very compelling and even more compelling were the one-on-one interviews conducted on campus by Dr. Close and Mr. Devin Hunt, Manager of Statistical Programming and Clinical Data Management. 

“Motivation and passion are just two attributes found in Juniata College students,” commented Dr. Close, a Juniata Alum. “It was the reason I hired Mr. Hunt directly out of Juniata at graduation”. To that end, last year Dr. Close challenged the two scholarship recipients who were returning to Juniata in the fall. She offered that if they would like to conduct their own research, she and Mr. Hunt would mentor them throughout the year on a research topic, and if their abstract was accepted, they would each receive a new scholarship to present their research in Vancouver at the meeting. Not to disappoint, John Kyle Apostolides and Keiko Sing did conduct research and was accepted for oral presentations at the meeting. Dr. Close stated, “I was so excited for them and overwhelmed. It was the first time I have known for two undergraduate students to present at our conference in my 16 years of attendance.” 

Mr. Hunt commented “I was so proud of them, like I was their parent, but they also made me very nervous during the open audience question and answer period. But both presenters answered like seasoned professionals in their field.” Their abstract entitled: The Effect of Short Term Messaging Service (SMS) Use for Subject Compliance in Clinical Trials can be downloaded on the SCT website.

As indicated in the quote below from Elena Woieichowska, the experience gained from attendance at a professional meeting of this caliber has a lasting impact.

“Being submerged in this environment I got a tremendous amount of motivation to continue on studying as hard as I can. I got a sense of what the clinical trial world is like and it made me want to be part of it as I go on with my studies. This was definitely one of the most unique events I have ever got to experience because, in just a couple of days of the conference I felt like I learned a semester worth of material about clinical trials.”

EmpiriStat’s passion for education and pursuit of continuing knowledge is the very reason we support programs like this one. The student’s feedback validates its worth and solidifies EmpiriStat’s vision and dedication to building the future pipeline of researchers. We can’t wait to see what next year holds for the scholarship and the students. 

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