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Mixing Business & Pleasure= My Summer Plans!

Viviana Vallin
dandelion dreams

Photo Credit: Jon Oakley

After two stressful weeks of finals, my second year of veterinary school has come to an end!!!  I’ m so relieved to change the pace. I have lots of exciting projects planned in the coming weeks and I want to share them with you.

My summer will begin by flying to Los Angeles to spend the weekend with my family. Then, I’ll begin working with professor Dr. Barbara Christie at my undergrad, Loyola Marymount University(LMU). I’m assisting her with  research on how minority students make decisions about pursuing higher education and choosing majors.

I am passionate about being involved in programs and research that offer opportunities to minority students to follow their dreams. LMU has this type of program in SECOP (Science and Engineering Community Outreach Program). Since its creation, over 10 years ago, by Dr. Christie, it has successfully encouraged minority youth to major in STEM courses in college. As a summer counselor for two years, while at LMU, I witnessed firsthand what  positive impact it had on the students’ experience.  I will share more about what we find in our research in future entries.

Following my week with Dr. Christie,  I’m off to Indianapolis, Indiana to work alongside Dr. Ruth Landau,  my amazing, new mentor! Her research focuses on how the veterinary profession can better serve Latino clients and their pets. Dr. Ruth  is a bilingual veterinarian with experience working in Hispanic communities and a Ph.D student at Purdue University! Pretty awesome, huh?

Finally, in mid-June I’ll be returning to Philadelphia to begin my summer internship with the Bridging the Gap Program (BTG) through UPenn. BTG links the training of health and social service professionals with the provision of health-related services for the underserved and economically disadvantaged. The program will pair me with other professional students to work with the South Philadelphia Mexican project.

I have a full plate this summer, but I hope to learn, grow and meet new people in my field.   I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work such amazing projects that I know are making positive changes in the community.


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