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Sanford Research Announces PROMISE Scholars, Fellows

Area High School Students, Educators are 2013 Selections

2012 Promise Scholar(Sioux Falls, SD) – Eight area high school students and eight regional educators have been selected by Sanford Research as PROMISE scholars and science educator fellows for 2013.

The Sanford Program for the Midwest Initiative in Science Exploration (PROMISE) connects communities with new frontiers in science and research and aims to increase community understanding of science, raise awareness of the benefits of research and emphasize the role of both in our society. The Sanford PROMISE accomplishes this mission through a wide variety of programs, providing both students and educators from across the Midwest with real-life medical research experience.

The Sanford PROMISE Scholars Program offers regional high school students the chance to complete research projects in mentor laboratories at Sanford Research during the summer between their junior and senior years. Students receive hands-on training in biomedical techniques and ethics and develop projects that will impact research conducted in their mentor’s lab. This year’s selections are from six different high schools:

• Erin Buse, Brandon Valley High School
• Kelvin Chow, Dakota Valley High School
• Kimberly Chow, Dakota Valley High School
• Brooklyn DeVries, Harrisburg High School
• Erin Eickman, McCook Central High School
• Skyla Neuharth, Harrisburg High School/Sioux Falls CTE Academy
• Zarin Rahman, Brookings High School
• Joshua Reider, Tri-Valley High School

The Science Educator Research Fellowship Program supports heath research performed by middle and high school science teachers with a focus on pediatrics. During the summer, participants conduct independent community-based or biomedical research under the supervision of a Sanford scientist and receive inquiry-based instruction to support the translation of their research experience into the classroom. Educators for 2013 hail from six different schools:

• Steve Ortmeier, Sioux Falls Lincoln High School
• Casey Rose, Sioux Falls Lincoln High School
• Laura Mehlbrech, Sioux Falls Washington High School
• Michael Amolins, Harrisburg High School
• Angel Wachal, Harrisburg High School
• Tiffany Kroeger, Montrose Middle and High School
• Jamie Tucker, Sioux Valley School District
• Jeff Schneider, Armour School District

“This group of motivated, bright and eager high school students is our next generation of scientists; their exploration in medical research this summer will undoubtedly influence their future and chosen career path,” said Elizabeth McMillan, curriculum education coordinator for Sanford PROMISE. “The educators we have selected are passionate about teaching and will gain a strong understanding of new medical research applications in their classrooms.”

The Sanford PROMISE Scholars Program, overseen by McMillan, is in its third year, while the Science Educator Research Fellowship Program is in its second year and is coordinated by Dr. Peter Vitiello.

About Sanford Research/USD
Sanford Research/USD is a non-profit research organization formed between Sanford Health and the University of South Dakota. Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and represents the largest, rural, not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation with a presence in 111 communities, eight states and three countries. In 2007, a transformational gift of $400 million by Denny Sanford provided for an expansion of children’s and research initiatives, specifically finding a cure for type 1 diabetes, and has given Sanford Research significant momentum in its goal of becoming one of the premiere research institutions in the United States and the world. Most recently, a subsequent gift of $100 million by Mr. Sanford has paved the way to establish Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research.

With a team of more than 200 researchers, Sanford Research comprises several research centers, including Children’s Health Research, Edith Sanford Breast Cancer, Cancer Biology, Cardiovascular Health, Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention, and the National Institute for Athletic Health and Performance (NIAHP).

Tim Gerszewski
Sanford Media Strategist – Sioux Falls Region
(605) 366-2432 / 
Follow me on Twitter @SanfordTimG