MOUNT OLIVE – Mount Olive College senior exercise science major Laura Vega recently completed a prestigious summer Clinical Research Internship Study Program (CRISP) at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.
Vega’s parents, Christine and Guablerto Vega, were enthusiastic about their daughter working with CRISP. “They were both super excited that I got accepted into such a competitive program that gave great learning opportunities,” said Vega.
Originally hailing from Fajardo, Puerto Rico, 21 year-old Vega came to Mount Olive College because she liked the small, intimate school and the girls’ volleyball team. Vega began playing volleyball in the seventh grade, but she never allowed her grades to slack. When asked how she managed to keep her grade point average up as a student athlete, she responded, “You just have to learn how to have time management skills, and make sure not to procrastinate.”
The Mayo School of Health Sciences CRISP program was created for college students interested in participating in clinical research. The program allows students to test their inclinations toward careers in medicine, health care and science. Students are paired with a physician mentor to work on a clinical research project. Vega participated in research in anesthesia and had a very interesting experience as she went into surgery to record data.
The time she spent at CRISP will undoubtedly benefit her in the future. “The Mayo Clinic was a great experience. Not only did I learn how to collect data and do research, but just being in an operating room environment with the patients was really cool. The best part was being able to watch so many surgeries every day. Learning how to talk to patients and making them feel comfortable is definitely a skill I will able to use in my career.”
Going into her senior year at MOC, Vega has 3.9 GPA and is a member of the volleyball team. She is expected to graduate in December 2013, and plans to continue her education by earning her master’s degree in public health.
Mount Olive College is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The college, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville. For more information, visit www.moc.edu.