July 9, 2018
Joseph Heath, a sophomore biology major at Saint Vincent College, is participating in an eight-week-long microbiology workshop hosted by Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Heath is participating in the workshop with seven other students from Pennsylvania colleges, including Gettysburg College, Juniata College, Lafayette College, La Roche College, Mount Aloysius College and Shippensburg University, along with five students from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.
The workshop includes weekly sessions that discuss advice for biology students, along with a research project that each individual student must complete under the supervision of a Penn State scientist, focusing mainly on food-microbiology issues. Heath’s project involves the “inoculation of duck prosciutto with a pathogenic bacteria,” and determining if the processes used to create the product are effective.
Heath credits his professors and advisors for giving him the opportunity to participate. “I heard about the internship from Dr. Jennifer Koehl, Saint Vincent’s microbiology professor. Br. Albert Gahr, my adviser and another Saint Vincent microbiology professor, was also incredibly helpful in making sure that all of my materials were both in order and the best quality possible.” He went on to explain that the workshop provided him with real-world exposure to what research is like. “It was both challenging and exciting to apply what I’ve previously learned in all of my classes.”
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