Superfund Research Program
Rita Stephenson is a Hanover High School Student who spent four weeks in the summer of 2010 working in the lab for the Dartmouth College Superfund Research Program as part of the ARRA Student Summer Experience. Rita's time in the lab was very educational for her. She learned how research projects work, and the many steps involved in putting together packets for study participants. She gained valuable life skills, such as how to communicate effectively with employees at commercial companies to ensure that study products were successfully completed on time. She also researched lodgings for collaborating researchers traveling to Dartmouth for meetings and other professional events related to the study. From this, she learned how to put information for travelers together into one concise package.
Rita's experience in the Dartmouth lab helped her meet several career goals. This was the first job she's ever held, and it was important to her to start her professional career well. It also helped her make some decisions about whether or not she'd like to work in an office environment in the future. She also gained computer skills which will serve her well in her high school career and beyond. Finally, the most important lesson Rita learned was about teamwork. According to Rita, "It gave me a chance to see what it is like working not just to get a good grade, like in school. Instead I learned to work to complete a goal that wasn't for myself but for a research project that will contribute to scientific advancements to improve public health."