Superfund Research Program
In the summer of 2010, St. Johnsbury Academy student Melanie Sayarath worked for the Dartmouth College Superfund Research Program in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. She assisted the Birth Cohort Study staff with basic office and research tasks. These tasks included data entry, scanning study questionnaires and other data collection forms, filing, and preparing research specimen collection kits. In addition to these tasks, Melanie assisted another summer student with the graphics and text for incentive gifts and cards to be sent to the study participants and their newborn babies.
Melanie says that her work in a research office setting helped her to develop basic work skills and to feel comfortable around researchers and other college and medical professionals. She thought the summer experience was particularly valuable because she had the opportunity to meet and work with college and high schools students from other schools. Through Melanie's work on the Birth Cohort Study, she has become interested in water quality and, as part of her upcoming travel experience, will look into these issues in the some of the communities she will visit in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, hoping to formulate her senior capstone project. She is interested in design, journalism, or political science as a possible future career.