Penn's 2015 SUMR Program Networks With Karabots Junior Fellows

SUMR Blog

Penn's 2015 SUMR Program Networks With Karabots Junior Fellows

Tours College of Physicians of Philadelphia and Mutter Museum
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The seven-year-old "Karabots Junior Fellows" curriculum at the College of Physicians of Philadelpha is a three-year program designed to help a select cohort of local high-school students from underrepresented communities prepare for health care careers. In many ways, its ultimate goal is similar to the University of Pennsylvania's Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) Program's of directly engaging students in the working realities of health care. Each year, both groups spend a day together exploring the College of Physicians' famed Mütter Museum and discussing common academic interests.
Photos published with permission, College of Physicians of Philadelphia

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(Above, left) SUMR Scholars Rathnam Venkat of the University of Pennsylvania and Brandon McKenzie of Swarthmore College meet one of the thousands of anatomical specimens on display in the Mütter Museum. (Above, right) Students in a health care curriculum, Karabots Junior Fellows also serve as docents in the Mutter Museum. Junior Fellows Najeeb Mutan of Edison High School, Jacob Ortiz of Roman Catholic High School, and Xavier Gavin of the Science Leadership Academy (all wearing yellow lanyards) welcome SUMR visitors at the "Normal Giant and Dwarf Human Skeletons" display.
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(Above, left) Karabots Junior Fellow Helen Jiang of Central High School (yellow lanyard) takes SUMR Scholar Mei-Lynn Hua of the University of Texas at Austin through the history of one of the museum's most iconic displays: the plaster death cast of Chang and Eng Bunker, the Victorian era's original "Siamese Twins." (Above, right) Junior Fellows Jonathan Vasquez of Esperanza Academy Charter School (far left) and Aaliyah Ellerbee of the Science Leadership Academy at Beeber (far right) explain the "Edison's Brain" exhibit to SUMR Program Director Joanne Levy (center). In 2011, the Mütter acquired 46 slices of Albert Einstein's brain on microscope slides -- the specimens were originally prepared in 1955 shortly after the physicist's death in Princeton.
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Created in 1865, the Mütter documents the history of medical diagnosis and disease treatment in the Victorian era before modern day communications systems. It was originally a three-dimensional "walk-through" medical encyclopedia for physicians-in-training and contains both real and artistic reproductions of pathological conditions. Here, SUMR Scholars Tobi Akindoju of Yale University, Brandon McKenzie, and Shanarra Turner of the University of Michigan, check out plaster models (see above right) of various kinds of facial tumors.
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(Above, left) Karabots Junior Fellow Vashon Chapman of the Hill-Freedman World Academy was manning the "bullet injuries" display of the Mütter's grusome but fascinating "Broken Bodies, Suffering Spirits" exhibit of Civil War weapons, horrific wounds, surgical instruments, and procedures for processing the dead. (Above, right) SUMR Program Coordinator Safa Browne checks out a glass case and photo display about battlefield embalming procedures.
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(Above, left) Exploring the display of a 9-foot-long colon that contained 40 pounds of fecal matter when it was removed from an enormously obese circus sideshow performer in the 19th century are SUMR Scholars Yasmeen Wermers of Emory University and Jerome Watts of Haverford College. (Above, right) In another gallery of medical anatomical models is SUMR Scholar Francisca Bermudez of Princeton University.
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(Above, left) Originally collected for a study of the variation in cranial anatomy of European Caucasians in the mid 19th century, the Hyrtl Skull Collection is the single most stunning visual of the museum -- an entire wall stacked with skulls. (Above, right) SUMR Scholar Mei-Lynn Hua browses the shelves.
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(Above, left) SUMR Scholars Francisca Bermudez and Tammy Jiang of Brown University inspect the Mütter's "Soap Lady" -- the body of a woman dug up in a Philadelphia cemetery in 1875. Under rare circumstances, including isolation from oxygen, the infestation of a certain kind of bacteria, and entombment in very moist, alkaline soil, human bodies can turn to into a wax-like adipocere rather than decay. (Above, right) A close-up of the Soap Lady's face.
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(Above, left) Gathering in one of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia conference rooms, Karabots Junior Fellows and Penn's SUMR Scholars hold their annual meeting. Describing his summer research project is SUMR Scholar Brandon McKenzie (standing, mid table). (Above, right) Taking part in the proceeding are Junior Fellow Kiajah Rhodes of Friere Charter School, SUMR Scholar Enrique Torres Hernandez of St. Mary's University, Junior Fellows Honesty Sharps of Friere Charter School, Victor Wright of Boy's Latin of Philadelphia Charter school, Sheila Nalwoga of W.B Saul High School, and Shalon Comer-Frink of W.B. Saul High School.
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Gathered on the central staircase of the historic College of Physicians' building are the 2015 SUMR Scholars, the 2015 Karabots Junior Fellows and those programs' staffers.