Clad in beaver-orange tees, 55 high-schoolers from rural Oregon came to OSU this summer for a four-day sleepover camp to tour the OSU campus, learn about financial aid options, experience college life—and dissect a salmon in the John L. Fryer Aquatic Animal Health Lab—all part of the Pathways Summer Academy.
The event was organized by Sheena Bettis, Education Coordinator for the Oregon Pacific Area Health Education Center (OPAHEC), a federal and state-funded organization that supports rural and diverse communities. Coincidentally, Bettis is also an OSU microbiology alumna and in the process of applying to medical school). It was her idea to expand OPAHEC's focus to include non-health-related STEM careers in addition to the program's traditional emphasis on introducing underserved high school students to healthcare careers and college exploration.
"I wanted to make sure that the students I recruited were aware that you don't have to be in a specific field to pursue a health-related career...and to see that science can be fun!" said Bettis.