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Meet a Participant or Mentor

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    Natalie Koons

    After switching from dance to physiology, Natalie Koons has spent time with the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) across three separate internships. Her most recent appointment has been running a study on how to best predict emergent conditions for a dangerous lack of oxygen in the blood.
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    Kristin Johnson

    Undergraduate Kristin Johnson assisted on focus group and data analysis research efforts as part of her summer internship at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine.

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    Michelle Saillant

    During her fellowship at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Michelle Saillant has supported several research projects that aim to help improve service member health and performance in environmental extremes — heat, cold and high altitude.

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    Seth Rinehart

    During his fellowship at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Seth Rinehart contributed to a study examining the effect of specialty providers on nutrition, performance and sleep outcomes among soldiers.

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    William Irvin

    Through his internship at the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, William Irvin contributed to efforts to develop a virtual reality training platform for Army aviators that simulates an engine fire and single-engine failure in a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter.

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    Michael Rowland, Ph.D.

    A former ORISE postdoctoral fellow, Michael Rowland, Ph.D., is now a branch chief with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center.

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    Darren Baldwin

    Darren Baldwin, a registered nurse, completed a one-year internship at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research in San Antonio, Texas. He is now a research nurse coordinator at the facility.
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    Heidi Hoard-Fruchey, Ph.D.

    Former ORISE participant Heidi Hoard-Fruchey, Ph.D., studies toxicology of chemical threat agents and development of medical countermeasures as a research biologist at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense.
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    Capt. Kevin Hauns, Ph.D.

    Capt. Kevin Hauns, Ph.D., shares his passion for research with Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education participants as a U.S. Army microbiologist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. As a mentor, Hauns and his mentees contributed to developing an innovative viral-based malaria vaccine that will protect service members and promote global health.

  • The ORISE program has allowed me an opportunity to experience different facets of research, grow both personally and professionally, and learn new skills that I otherwise would not have learned had I not had this fellowship. It was the ideal stepping stone between my undergraduate studies and, in my case, medical school, and I am so grateful to have been able to participate in this one-of-a-kind opportunity.

    —Michelle Saillant
  • My favorite part of this time at USARIEM was absolutely the opportunity to learn in such a warm and welcoming environment. You are encouraged, applauded, cared for, mentored and provided with the tools to succeed. I cannot think of a better opportunity to research and grow alike.

    —Seth Rinehart
  • My first summer internship with ORISE changed the trajectory of my career. I think this program is great for students exploring different pathways in STEM-related careers.

    —Natalie Koons
  • I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the research at USARIEM. Each of the individuals I met made me feel welcome, encouraged me to ask questions, and talked to me about their research or other ways to conduct research that I had not been exposed to before.

    —Kristin Johnson
  • I love our mission at the institute, but the mentoring, by far, is the most rewarding part of my job. To watch a student come in and progress through their time there, and get ready for the next step of their career, there's nothing more exciting to watch and see.

    —Dr. Heidi Hoard-Fruchey, Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense
  • My favorite part of being a mentor was watching one of my fellows become a mentor. Witnessing the participants mature and become their own person, not just scientifically, but also as productive members of society that want to make this world a better place, was extremely gratifying.

    —Capt. Kevin Hauns, Ph.D., Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
  • NAMRU-Dayton’s involvement in the ORISE program has benefitted our laboratory tremendously, and I’ve seen it benefit the participants greatly as well.  Many of NAMRU-Dayton’s ORISE participants have parlayed their experience here into acceptance to M.S., Ph.D., and M.D. programs.  Others have remained at the lab, and now serve as principal investigators or in other permanent scientific positions. In my experience ORISE has been a great program for everyone involved.

    —Richard D. Arnold Ph.D., Director of Aeromedical Research, Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton