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Junior Fellows Present Original Health Research

Junior Fellows from M.S. 57

Seventeen 8th grade students from James Weldon Johnson Middle School 57 and Isaac Newton Middle School for Math & Science in East Harlem participated in NYAM’s Junior Fellows Program in the 2013-14 school year, completing a ten-month course of study spent learning about the health professions and conducting secondary research at the NYAM Library.

The Junior Fellows Program, a partnership between NYAM’s Office of School Health Programs, the NYAM Library, and several New York City academic medical centers, introduces students to current issues in public health, science, medicine, and research and engages them in conducting secondary research in these areas throughout the school year. The program culminates each year with a presentation of the students’ posters on their chosen research topics.

The Junior Fellows from M.S. 57 shared their research posters with Junior Fellows Program staff and their peers on May 29, 2014. The students spoke with knowledge and enthusiasm about their chosen health topics, which included sickle cell disease, depression, diabetes, cancer during pregnancy, and the care of newborns with Down Syndrome.

Most of the 2014 class of Junior Fellows graduated last year from NYAM’s Getting into Real Life Science (G.I.R.L.S.) and Health Professions program, which offers 7th grade girls in East Harlem public schools a wide range of academic support and enrichment activities, as well as mentoring experiences with minority women health professionals.

“The experience of doing G.I.R.L.S. and Junior Fellows was really good,” said Natalia, a Junior Fellow from M.S. 57. “In G.I.R.L.S., we got to meet people who have gone through the same things (that we are going through). Junior Fellows expands your view of the world, and you’re able to research a topic you’re interested in.”

Natalia, who wants to be an ER physician, believes the hands-on research skills and experience she received in the Junior Fellows Program will benefit her in high school.

Justina, also an M.S. 57 student, said that she hopes to become a geneticist or biologist. She chose to investigate the subject of lupus for her Junior Fellows project.

“I enjoyed researching and finding out more about the disease,” Justina said.

“We challenge the students to master skills that they will use in high school and college, such as using professional journals and online databases, speaking in public, and answering questions about their work,” said Joanne De Simone Eichel, Director of the NYAM Office of School Health Programs. “They work hard and take great pride in their work. We are extremely proud of them.”  

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Posted on June 2, 2014

Gina Ravosa
Director of Marketing & Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7285


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Reporters: to arrange interviews with NYAM medical and urban health experts, contact
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