Embark Capstone Colloquium showcases class of 2017 research journey
David Tobin explains research to Biomedical Science faculty Kara Sawarynski, Ph.D.
Class of 2017 student David Tobin explains research to Biomedical Science faculty Kara Sawarynski, Ph.D.

Students shared the journey, as well as the results, of their research projects during poster presentations at the Embark Capstone Colloquium. In many cases, the research they chose as first-year medical students helped shape their decisions about their medical careers.

For example, Jake Kraemer’s clinical research in general surgery of biologic mesh in hernia repair with Beaumont Health’s Dr. Bruce McIntosh helped him conclude that he did not want to pursue a career in surgery. Rather, Kraemer will be doing a residency in anesthesiology at Beaumont Health, where his wife, OUWB Class of 2016 alumna Dr. Samantha Kraemer is currently a resident in urology.

Additionally, Founding Dean Dr. Robert Folberg reminded the class of 2017 that their Embark research experience has prepared them for navigating their way through the rest of their medical education.

“The many detours and many frustrations are key attributes that you will call upon as residents,” said Dr. Folberg. “The entire experience has provided you with the acquisition of skills that you will find valuable during your residencies.”

The evening included oral presentations from Michael Rezaee and Aishwarya Navalpakam, two of the 28 students who were recognized for exceptional capstone-related presentations with poster and oral presentations at state and national medical conferences.

“OUWB helped me find my interest in being a future pediatrician. OUWB has made me the person that I am,” said Navalpakam, whose mentor Inaya Haj Hussein, Ph.D., described her as being highly dedicated and devoted to her research.

Navalpakam’s research, “Behavioral Perceptions of Oakland University Female College Students towards Human Papillomavirus Vaccination,” and Rezaee’s research, “Prevalence and Associated Cost and Utilization of Multiple Chronic Conditions in the Outpatient Setting among Enrollees of an Employer-based Health Plan,” were both supported with scholarship funding. Rezaee was the only recipient of the Ravitz Foundation Capstone Research Manuscript of the Year Award. Navalpakam received the Nicholson Capstone Competitive Scholarship Award along with classmates Mayank Agarwal, Sarah Gaubatz, Alexa Shepherd and Theresa Yankovich.

Poster presentations represent an array of research

Three students – David Tobin (first place), Aaron Hanson (second place) and Dylan Greeney (third place) – each received the Oakland University Credit Union Dean’s Capstone Oral Presentation Award for their global and community health research.

The research categories included 45 students presenting on clinical research; two students presenting on lab research; 22 who had global and community health research; five who presented health system research; and 13 students completed medical education research.

To read all of the class of 2017 research abstracts, visit Capstone Colloquium.