Monday, November 25, 2013

Congratulations to some of Gemstone's Precious Gems!

Congratulations to our junior students, Winston Liu and Mel Walsh on receiving prestigious scholarships! 

Winston Liu was awarded the Whitaker International Undergraduate Scholarship!
The Whitaker International Undergraduate Scholarship Program provides funding of up to $7,500 to increase the number of undergraduates in biomedical engineering (BME) who go abroad; to provide the opportunity for students to see BME from an international perspective early in their educations, and to develop students to become future leaders in BME. Winston is Maryland's first Whitaker International Scholarship recipient.

Mel Walsh was awarded the Sarah Gingrich Firebaugh Memorial Scholarship!
Sarah Gingrich Firebaugh Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship for Gemstone students who are engineering or science majors from Pennsylvania.

Congratulations to our impressive Gemstone Terps!

-Stephanie Gross: Team SILVER: Class of 2015

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Look Back at Gemstone: An Alumna Perspective

Now in her first year of medical school, Anastasiya Latushko looks back at her time at Maryland in the Gemstone Program: 

When I first started college, I wasn’t sure that Gemstone was for me. I was never really interested in research so signing myself up for four years of it seemed scary but ultimately, I decided to do it because of something a senior said during an accepted student’s panel I attended. She had been interviewing at medical schools and her interviewers were so impressed by the unique opportunity Gemstone offered undergrads, they spent the entire interview talking about it. I hate to say it but it was what sold me on Gemstone. Four years later, when I was applying to medical school 30-40% of my application consisted of Gemstone-related things. Whether I talked about the actual research Team RODENT did, the teamwork aspect of the program, or the leadership experience I gained both from being part of my team and also being a GEMS100 section leader I really did spend a big chunk of time at interviews talking about Gemstone.
Alumni Anastasiya and Alex at their White Coat Ceremony
I remember the sense of awe I experienced when I went to the Senior Thesis Conference as a freshman seeing everything the senior teams accomplished. It all seemed so daunting, I couldn’t imagine producing that quantity and quality of work. But somehow, after a lot of hard work and long hours, we did it. 
When I started at the University of Maryland School of Medicine three months ago, I had this same feeling of anxiety when professors started telling us everything we would have to accomplish before graduation. But just like in Gemstone, you have to take it one day at a time. Med school is as hard as everyone says it is. There’s a common analogy that people use to explain the amount of work you have: if college was drinking from a hose then med school is like drinking from a fire hydrant. So, even when you think your brain can’t possibly absorb another piece of information or you spend hours in the anatomy lab the week before an exam making sure you can identify the 12 cranial nerves and their locations, you just do it and move on to the next task. For me, it was always important to see the bigger picture, our end goal, when we were doing our research, even though it was easy to get caught up in the little details. That’s exactly how I feel about med school now. When I start to lose track of why I want to be a doctor because I’m frustrated about having to memorize some minute details of the Krebs cycle, I go and shadow a doctor to remind myself of what the end goal is, and that’s to be able to have an impact on someone’s life by helping them feel better.

Gemstone was a big part of my life in college and now that I’ve graduated, I feel like it’s still having an impact on me. It helped me get to medical school and now that I’m here, I still use what I learned during my four years in the program.

-Anastasiya Latushko: Class of 2013: Team RODENT

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

October GSC Events:

Wonder what the Gemstone Program got up to last month?  
GSC committees AAC and SAC each hosted an October event!!

This October the Student Activities Committee hosted its first Gems Class Heroes sports event.  The program reserved the Engineering Fields, located by the main entrance to campus, for a Saturday afternoon of sports, games, and bonding for all Gemstone students.  Students who cam out to Gems Class Heroes played everything from frisbee and kickball to two pick-up games of football.

Academic Affairs kicked off the semester with Cracking the College Code on Thursday the 17th of October.  Attendees enjoyed a night of Dunkin’ Donuts, hot chocolate and tips about life at UMD.  Four interactive sessions were available for students to choose from, with time to attend three during the hour.  These included:

 Clubs and Activities was led by Tony Trinh.  Tony talked about various opportunities on campus, including Images, RHA, and student led organizations.  As he presented, students were able to ask questions about groups they were particularly interested in as well as about how to schedule time to do it all!  
Mitul Patel, freshman representative on the Academic Affairs Committee, talked about  fun things to do in D.C.  Students got to hear both an inside look and a tourist’s must-see sights.

The session on hidden Gems at UMD, led by Ed Lin, provided the students with some tasty treats and helpful tips on how to really make the most out of their time here at UMD.  Former president of Academic Affairs, Yoon Shin, and Taylor Hearn led the session about Careers 4 Terps.  The website was displayed and its features such as the jobs and internships database were presented, then students had the opportunity to ask questions specific to their major and career interests.

-Stephanie Gross: Class of 2015: Team SILVER
-Sudipta Das: Class of 2017