Personal Contributions in the Center for Bioethics and Health Law

I have been involved in a number of different projects during my time with the Center for Bioethics and Health Law, and as a result I feel like I have made many personal contributions that have helped ideas and tasks be more successful. One of my most valuable assets has been the fact that I am an undergraduate student, and can offer a student perspective on how to approach and discuss projects to entice undergraduate participation. For example, one of the projects that I worked on was researching and helping a professor design a Gender and Medicine course syllabi that could be used for a hybrid undergrad/grad class. I presented ideas that I have observed to be helpful in student engagement and flexibility with student learning such as critical writing responses and a focus on pop culture and current events. The professor I was working with was able to incorporate these design ideas into the syllabus to make a curriculum that could better engage with the undergraduate part of her course.

Another area in which I have impacted the final product is the Pandemic Policies and Practices Lecture Series, a collaborative project between the Center for Bioethics and Health Law and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center. Throughout the summer, I have been assigned the task of creating the cover sheets for the upcoming speakers and their topics to serve as both publicity for the lecture series and as guidance for the moderator during the discussion. In creating the cover sheets, I also include a list of questions relating to the topic that the moderator uses during the discussion period of the lecture to guide conversation and prompt more in-depth discussion of the issues relating to the pandemic. I have seen that the question and answer portion of the lecture is the most stimulating and engaging portion of each lecture for participants and viewers, and so the cover sheets that I create are an essential part of the success of this lecture series.

I have also been involved with the creation of a proposal about investigating the concept of personalized education for my site supervisor Dr. Lisa Parker. It is her hope that with a seminar to investigate personalized education ethics professionals will also be able to examine similar concepts in the area of personalized or precision medicine. In this task I have made a few observations that have enhanced the proposal, such as my discovery of a 2014 congressional hearing in which I found testimony about the potential dangers of online learning and data collection software. This discovery helped shift the potential focus of the seminar to one of data collection and corporate conglomeration of education. Additionally, in a conference that I attended I heard a speaker give a lecture about his investigations into genetic predictors of educational success. By sharing this research with my site supervisor, we were able to find connections between the fields of precision medicine and personalized education that will make the proposal to use personalized education to study precision medicine even stronger when it is presented. Overall, I do feel like my presence in the Center has made a substantial difference on the work being done, and I am excited to continue contributing for my last few weeks.