The Jesuit student nervously taps his finger on the dark brown desk. Suddenly, an older man walks into the dark room, causing the boy to immediately rise to greet his interviewer. Deliberately, the elder asks his first question, “why do you think you should be a part of this program?” Prepared, the boy rattles off the reason for his obsession with medicine, for his obsession with helping people.

This was the scene February 25, as three Medical Society members interviewed for the prestigious STARS internship. Each year, around three Jesuit students are chosen for this internship, spending their time doing cutting-edge research in a lab format. The STARS research program stands for Science Teacher Access to Resources at Southwestern. The program, started in 1991, is designed to give students in North Texas a higher quality education in the science field, by generously offering some of the resources at UT Southwestern to primary and secondary school teachers. According to their website, the program has a variety of goals including, to broaden the knowledge base of science teachers, to increase science awareness, to provide instructional aids, to provide ongoing support for students, and to stimulate appreciation of health related careers.

Essentially, through the STARS program, the chosen Medical Society members will spend eight weeks this upcoming summer focusing on a certain area of research, shadowing a host doctor in the process and getting a first hand look at lab work. The student’s area of research can vary widely, being fairly general to extremely specific, as last year a student researched the use of creating a blood bio marker panel for autism using peptides and proteins

This year, three Jesuit students interviewed for the program: Erik Sanchez ’17, Noah Sherer ’17, and Joe Carver ’17. Each student had a unique outlook on the program, especially Sanchez, who commented on why he wanted to be apart of the program, saying, “Being a part of the STARS program is an exciting prospect since it would be my first experience working in a research-based environment in a scientific field of my interest. Not only is it an opportunity to learn from bright minds in a challenging environment, it’s also a unique way to meet other students who share the same passion for science.” The others echoed his excitement towards the program, including Sherer who added, “I can’t wait to find out if I made the program, the possibilities in the future are extremely exciting!”

Be sure to tune into The Roundup as the students wait to hear on the status of their entry into the program!