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Intern Students at SCF Ponder Careers in Research

For the last several months, the research office at Southcentral Foundation has held an internship program to encourage more Native people to consider careers in research. Current intern participants include Tara Bourdukofsky (Aleut), Andrei Jacobs (Yupik) and Therese Brown (Yupik).

Sponsored by the National Library of Medicine, the interns attended two training sessions to develop their research skills and learn about on-line resources such as PubMed ( Through these events, interns networked with people from the University of Washington and the Seattle Indian Health Board.

Throughout the program, interns have read and reflected on both scientific articles and other literature. These activities help them develop the critical analysis skills required for research. The group has also engaged in active dialogue about community-based participatory research and genetics, and discussed how research relates to pediatric care, community planning and behavioral health services.

The research internship will officially end on April 30, 2006. One intern’s journal entry frames their overall experience quite well: “In my opinion, Alaska Native people have been involved in research for a very long and ancient time. One just needs to look into the life and times of our people. Our ability to adapt and succeed in an ever-changing environment requires great skills. These skills are built on our ability to observe, learn, act and then re-do activities to improve the process.”

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