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Faculty Members Participate in Karabots Junior Fellows Program

November 1, 2012

College of Nursing and Health Professions faculty members Maria Benedetto, DPT, Margery Lockard, PhD, and Carol Okupniak facilitated activities for local high school students enrolled in the College of Physicians’ Karabots Junior Fellows Program, a year-round intensive interdisciplinary program for students interested in pursuing careers in health care that was established by Nick and Athena Karabots of The Karabots Foundation.

The program’s creative curriculum is developed each year by Program Director Jacqui Bowman and exposes the participating students to many different career possibilities, as well as forges connections between medicine, history, and art. Each year, the class of approximately 20 students presents final projects, which in the past have included a photography exhibit about skin color and the planting of a medicinal herb garden. The Karabots Junior Fellows Program introduces each student to a local mentor whose career relates to the student’s own professional ambitions. The program also provides them with internship and externship opportunities during the summer. “This program is working so well because the College of Physicians is a neutral institution,” Jacqui Bowman explained. “It isn’t particularly allied with any other institutions and therefore has the flexibility to work with everyone. It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to connect with other colleges.”

Maria Benedetto established the link between the Karabots Program and the College of Nursing and Health Professions. She arranged for the high school students to meet with Drexel students and faculty. Carol Okupniak ran a session about drug enhanced sports injuries and the effects of performance drinks on the cardiac system. The Karabots Fellows also spent half of a day in the Simulation Lab and learned how to wrap amputees.

On November 17, the Karabots students toured Drexel’s Daskalaskis Athletic Center, learned about careers in sports management, and visited the Physical Therapy office. DPT student Meg Watson said, "After having worked with the Karabots Junior Fellows program, I feel that these high school students have a passion for the healthcare field. Their inquisitive nature and enthusiasm allow the professionals within each discipline to be excited about the impact they are having upon these students. Not only are the professionals excited, but the students are excited because they are obtaining an inside look into varying disciplines allowing them to develop ideas about their future and what they want.”