11 months ago

2007 Annual Report

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A Letter from Gordon Van

A Letter from Gordon Van Harn, Ph.D. Van Andel Education Institute Director Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) marked its tenth anniversary of education programs with many significant “firsts” during 2007. The Van Andel Institute (VAI) Graduate School held its first opening convocation on August 20, 2007, to inaugurate the school and welcome its first class of three Ph.D. candidates in cell, molecular and genetic biology. The convocation reflected years of planning for the start of the school, and celebrated the three students who were hailed as “pioneers.” 2007 also saw the first student admitted to the innovative Internal Medicine Research Residency Program, a partnership between VAI Graduate School and the Grand Rapids Medical Education Research Center (GRMERC), which offers students a Ph.D. degree in molecular and cell biology and state licensure and board eligibility in internal medicine. The program is designed to provide clinical and research training to produce physicians who are prepared for careers as basic science and clinical research scholars. The Graduate School co-hosted the first annual West Michigan Van Andel Education Institute nurtures the scientists of tomorrow through groundbreaking educational programs for a wide range of students and professionals that build on curiosity and problem-solving skills with real, hands-on experiences. Van Andel Education Institute

Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference on October 20, 2007. The one-day conference was attended by more than 200 students and faculty from eight regional colleges and universities and featured 120 undergraduate student presenters. It was a great demonstration of the widespread interest in the emerging biomedical research community in West Michigan. In September, VAEI convened educators, and corporate and community leaders from West Michigan to explore a model of science education reform. The National Science Resource Center presented strategies that could result in improved science instruction and student academic achievement in science. Participation in this forum reflected the need for more persons prepared for science-related positions, a driver for a healthy economy. VAEI also introduced two new, innovative Science Academy programs: Science on Saturday (SOS) and Classroom Science Investigations (CSI). SOS welcomes students and a significant adult in their lives to the Science Academy on a Saturday to help foster a love of science. It introduces parents to important strategies for teaching students in ways that both engage them and help them to understand the nature of science. CSI was piloted in 2007 as a unique professional development initiative and a way of expanding the VAEI model of science instruction. A Kellogg Foundation grant generously provides funds to replicate the model in 2008 in an urban school. The “firsts” that VAEI celebrated in 2007 represent years of preparation and continue the Institute’s mission to impact science students locally across the entire spectrum of learning, and to impact the teaching of science on a national level. Gordon L. Van Harn, Ph.D. Van Andel Education Institute Director Van Andel Institute offers a full spectrum of training opportunities, supporting a continuum of learning that extends from elementary school to professional development. K-12 > > > Science Academy Out-of- School-Time Program and Science on Saturday GRAPCEP: Grand Rapids Area Pre-College Engineering Program College > > > Frederik and Lena Meijer Student Internship Program GRMERC Medical Student Summer Research Internship Program Bridges to the Baccalaureate Graduate/Ph.D. > > > VAI Graduate School VAI-MSU Graduate School Program NIH T-32 Training Program for Veterinary Students Postdoctoral > > > Postdoctoral Fellowships Professional Development Science Academy Classroom Science Investigations Educator Professional Development VAEI Director 29

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