From Chapin to Italy: Student’s overseas internship sets stage for medical career

By Lexington Sun Staff Writers

Kennedy Stodden, a Biomedical Science student at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center) in Chapin, has dreams to go to medical school and pursue a career in either medical research or anesthesiology.

This summer she was given an opportunity to do a two-week internship inside a biomedical lab at the University of Verona in Italy. During her internship Kennedy was tutored by Professor Ilaria Decimo and her staff and was involved in studies concerning the infusion of stem cells in the brain and regeneration of the spinal cord after traumatic injury.

Kennedy was also involved in experiments of immunofluorescence, gene expression, protein quantification and microsurgery.

Lexington-Richland School District Five students at all four high schools have the opportunity to study at The Center. Through this partnership and offerings of the Biomedical Sciences program, Kennedy was able to take the Biotechnician Assistant Credentialing Exam (BACE), which is an industry-recognized exam designed to assess core skills and knowledge sets identified by industry, and represented within the academic and performance standards of Biotechnology programs.

“Everything I did in my classes at The Center, especially in the second year, prepared me to go into that lab and know what I was doing,” Stodden said. “The people who worked in the lab were actually surprised that I knew what they were doing and had done some of it before in a high school setting.”

Kennedy’s teacher Julie Krusen added, “One of our goals for Biomedical Science students is to provide opportunities to set themselves apart from others. By taking Biomedical Innovations, Kennedy had content knowledge and research experience that helped set her apart. We are so proud of Kennedy for having the passion and commitment to seek and participate in a summer research program, especially in another country.”

Kennedy was the youngest and only international student studying at the lab during her internship.

“I was very fortunate that I got to experience working inside the lab and participate in what they do every day because it was absolutely amazing,” Stodden said.

Al Gates, director of Career and Technical Education at The Center added, “The Biomedical Science program at the Center helped Kennedy qualify for this experience and the knowledge and skills she learned in the program contributed to the success she experienced. Career and Technical Education programs at The Center and in our high schools support School District Five’s mission and vision of developing productive citizens who can contribute to a global society. We are very proud of Kennedy, Ms. Krusen, and Ms. Howell.”

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Biotility at the University of Florida is committed to providing high-quality education and training to facilitate the professional growth of each participant. Our short-courses are attended by professionals, students preparing to enter industry careers, and researchers, all of whom seek to expand and deepen their knowledge in technical and regulatory details unique to biotechnology industries and translational research.