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Virtual Open House for Student Research Involvement

Date Posted: Friday, October 09, 2020

A virtual open house event was held for faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences to meet students interested in helping with upcoming research projects. Attended by more than 20 students, including medical students at UMASS, several undergraduate students and even a couple talented high school students, both faculty and students were able to introduce themselves and mention a little bit about their research interests.

Samuel Leeman, research coordinator for the Department of Ophthalmology and organizer of the event, began by saying, "Our department is incredibly lucky to have so many students who are excited to work with our team and progress our research projects, even under the difficult conditions faced this year from COVID-19."

Both clinicians and basic-science researchers from the faculty had the opportunity to describe their different ongoing or upcoming projects where they could use help from students moving forward. "As gaining a residency spot in ophthalmology has continued to become more competitive, and with the change to pass/fail of the USMLE Step 1 exam, residency directors will look for further interest and experience in the field," said Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD, MHCM and Department Chair. "We hope to provide opportunities for all who are interested and committed to get involved."

With many projects described at the event, varying both in size and type, students will have options to choose from. Over the next few weeks, the students will be matched to the projects they are most interested in. 

"We're thankful to our faculty for their willingness to adjust to the new conditions and for continuing to support and mentor new students this year," noted Samuel Leeman. "I'm thrilled such an event was possible and believe that the student collaboration will be beneficial for all involved. I look forward to seeing the positive results as this year progresses."

Virtual Open House Image