Today, we are pleased to share a moderated discussion between Kristy Arbogast, PhD, CIRP@CHOP co-scientific director, and Isabelle Stockman, a researcher and PhD candidate from SAFER, the Vehicle and Traffic Safety Center at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Dr. Arbogast and Ms. Stockman have collaborated on several projects looking at the impact of pre-crash maneuvers on child passenger safety.
When talking to casual acquaintances, the requisite “what do you do?” comes up. When I say I’m the Training Manager for a CHOP-based Injury Science center, they first ask, “What does the Center research?” and then ask, “So, who do you train?” No one is ever surprised that we provide training to master’s, PhD, and post-doc level trainees--It’s what’s expected of a teaching hospital. But most are surprised when they learn that the majority of CIRP@CHOP's training efforts focus on undergraduates.
I didn’t recognize the importance of mentors until I was a graduate student at the University of Toledo and stumbled upon Jeanne Brockmyer, PhD, distinguished emeritus professor of Psychology. This amazing mentor helped to identify my goals (some of which I didn’t even know myself) and worked with me to develop concrete strategies to achieve those goals. My experience with this knowledgeable and caring individual led me to seek out mentors at every step of my career and to become an effective mentor myself.
Great things are happening here at CIRP. With strong mentorship, lots of talent, and hard work, our student trainees are making significant contributions. We currently have 30 undergraduate, graduate, and post-doc students working at our Center, with nine participating as part of our National Science Foundation Injury Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.