Students on the Forefront

The Students on the Forefront of Science Program is an initiative developed by the Science Department at Brooks School. The goal of the program is to provide rising sixth-formers (between junior and senior year) with innovative experiences that will expose them to research, technology, and advanced studies in the sciences. It is our strong belief that a hands-on research opportunity in a lab or field setting will best encourage students to continue in the field of science. Recipients, selected through a competitive application process, participate in this summer undertaking provided by the Students on the Forefront of Science program.

The science department takes pride in the accomplishments and passion displayed by these young men and women. By allowing students to see scientific disciplines in a different context outside of the classroom setting, they return with a thorough grasp of the material and a mature sense of purpose in the lab. The program owes much of its success to the commitment and support provided by individuals at each host institution, who offer the necessary supervision on a daily basis. Many of these researchers and professionals maintain ties to Brooks, being alumni or parents themselves.

This past summer Brooks School students participated in internships at New England Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Quebec Labrador Foundation and Apple Computer. The internship at Tufts Medical Center partnered Nicholas Konovalchik ’17 and Ritika Komareddi ’17 with Dr. Charles Cassidy. Dr. Cassidy is a Brooks alum who is board certified in Orthopedic Surgery and specializes in hand, elbow and upper extremity surgery, upper and lower extremity trauma reconstruction and management of acute skeletal trauma. Konovalchik and Komareddi each spent four weeks shadowing Dr. Cassidy.

This experience taught me that I have the ability to become a doctor.
When I met patients, listened to their stories and watched Dr.
Cassidy in surgery. I couldn't help but see myself eventually doing the
same thing. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world.

Ritika Komareddi on her internship at Tufts Medical Center

Caroline Saef, Arnaud Harmange, and Samuel Wakelin, all Class of 2017, worked with researchers and clinicians in the Perioperative Medicine division at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). These internships are research-based internships that also include a day per week observing surgery. "One of my favorite moments from this summer was when the head surgeon of a robotic surgery asked me if I wanted to sit in his chair and watch the rest of the surgery," Saef shared. "It was truly an experience that I will never forget."

This year we added a clinical internship at MGH as well, and Tess Martin ’17 spent eight weeks observing a number of different types of surgeries and attending Grand Rounds. These internships are graciously offered with the help of Dr. Peter Dunn, Brooks School alum, who is the Executive Medical Director of Perioperative surgery at MGH.

Patrick Sheehan ’17 and Julia Moore ’17 spent four weeks in Newfoundland Canada working on marine bird conservation research in association with the Quebec Labrador Foundation (QLF). These internships are graciously offered through the help of Larry Morris, former Brooks School parent and current QLF President and Beth Ailing, QLF Executive Vice President.

Sarah Palmer ’17 spent her summer working in the Psychiatric Neuroimaging Lab at Brigham Women’s Hospital looking at brain MRIs from normal and schizophrenic patients.

We also sent five students to Apple Computer in Cupertino, California. These students worked alongside engineers on a number of different projects. As part of the program, students were housed on a local college campus.

Want to learn more about the program? Contact program director Dr. Mary Jo Carabatsos.

No one treated me like a high school student. They treated me like a colleague.

Renu Mukherjee '15

To read the 2018 program
overview, click here.